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Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by 
in the Clerk's Office of tie iMstrict Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 






DXXII. To "William Cecil. — Hopes connected with the 
accession of Ehzabeth — Wishes for the establish- 
ment of the pure gospel in England, . .15 
DXXIIT. To THE Prisoners of Paris. — He apologizes for 
the silence which he has tept with respect to them, 
and exhorts them to persevere in the profession 
of the truth, . . . . .18 

DXXIV. To the French Church of Frankfort. — Warn- 
ing on the subject of the new doctrines dissemi- 
nated in this church, . . • .21 
DXXV. To Augustin Legrant. — Severe admonitions, . 23 
DXXVI. To Martin Micronius. — Progress of the Reforma- 
tion in Sweden — The dispatch of a writing — 
News of Geneva and Lausanne, . . 25 
DXXVII. To THE Prince Royal of Sweden. — Dedication 

of a writing to Gustavus Wasa, . . 27 

DXXVIII. To Farel. — Dispersion of the Churches of the Pays 

de Yaud, . . . . .29 

DXXIX. To Madame de Coligny. — False tidings of the 
deliverance of the Admiral — Consolations on that 
subject, . . . . . .29 

DXXX. To Peter Martyr. — Calvin's illness — Death of 
Lactanzio Ragnone — Troubles of the Italian 
Church, . . . . . .31 

DXXXI. To Jerome Zanchi. — Call to the ministry in the 

Church of Geneva, . . . .33 

DXXXII. To Francis Boisnormand. — Regret for not having 
been able to have him called as Professor to the 
Academy of Geneva, . . . .35 

DXXXIII. To M. De La Gaucherie. — Dissensions at the 
Court of the King of Navarre — Spanish refugees 
— Salutations to the young Prince of Beam, after- 
wards Henry IV., . . . . oG 



















To M. DE CoLONGES. — Preliminaries of the Synod 
of Paris — Sending of several ministers, . 38 

To HoTMAN. — Quarrels of Hotman with Francis 
Baudouin, . . . . .40 

To THE Marquise de Rothelin. — Sends one of 
his writings to the young Duke de Longueville 
— Exhortations to the Duke's mother, . . 42 

To THE Duke de Longueville. — He exhorts him 
to abstain from all participation in the idolatries 
and disorders of the age, . . .44 

To William Cecil. — He exculpates himself to 
these ministers of the imputations brought 
against him on account of a writing of Knox's, 46 

To the Brethren of France. — Perseverance in 
the faith — Patience in persecution — Trust in 
God, who will sooner or later take in hand the 
cause of his innocent followers, . . 49 

To THE Church of Paris. — Inutility of the steps 
taken in favour of the French Protestants — The 
helplessness of men — Fidelity of Glod, . . 54 

To THE Count D'Erbach. — He offers him Christ- 
ian congratulations, and consults him about a 
project of dedicating to the Elector Palatine the 
Book of the Institution, . . .56 

To Francis Daniel. — He pleads with Daniel in 
favour of one of his sons who had taken refuge 
at Geneva for the sake of religion, . . 59 

To John Sturm. — Complaints about the weakness 
and inactivity of the King of Navarre, . 61 

To the Duke de Longueville. — He warns him 
of the dangers and temptations of the court, . 63 

To the Marquise de Rothelin. — He urges her 
to show herself always more firm in the profes- 
sion of the truth, . . . .65 

To Peter Martyr. — Sufferings of the French 
Protestants — Gloomy apprehensions respecting 
the future, . . . . .66 

To BuLLiNGER. — Reply of a German Prince — Beza 
at Strasbourg — Deplorable situation of theFrench 
Reformed — Preludes of Civil Wars, . . 68 

To Madame deGrammont. — Consolations on the 
subject of a domestic affliction, . , 70 

To John Knox. — Answers to different ecclesias- 
tical questions, . . . . .73 



DL. To Francis Daniel. — News of young Daniel studying 
at the Academy of Geneva, 
DLL To Monsieur de Clervant. — Marks of sympathy on 
the occasion of the exile to which this seigneur was 
condemned, ..... 

DLII. To THE Brethren of France. — He exhorts them to 
redouble their faith to meet their redoubled persecu- 
tions, and to live and die for the confession of Jesus 
Christ, ...... 



















To Bullinger. — Complaint of the unjust proceeding.s 
of Berne with respect to Geneva, . . .87 

To Francis Daniel. — Counsels for the education of 
young Daniel, . . . . .89 

To John Sturm. — Severe judgment respecting the 
conspiracy of Amboise, . . . .91 

To John Gellin. — He exhorts him to leave France 
in order to retire to Geneva, . . .92 

To THE Church of Valence. — Christian exhortations 
— The sending of a pastor, . . .95 

To THE Church of Montelimart. — Eulogy of the 
Minister Francis de St. Paul — Prudent counsels, . 96 

To THE Bishop of London. — Recommendation of the 
French Church of London — Eulogium of des Gallars 
— Wish for a complete Reform of the Anglican 
Church, . . . . . .99 

To Charles Utenhoven — Tokens of lively interest 
for the French Church of London — Perils of 
Geneva, ...... 102 

To Bullinger. — Renewed disapprobation of the con- 
spiracy of Amboise — Account of the intrigues of 
Renaudie at Geneva — Vain opposition of Calvin, . 104 

To Peter Martyr. — Reverts to the conspiracy of 
Amboise — Troubles in France — Dangers of Geneva, 106 

To Sturm and Hotman. — Treacherous policy of the 
Guises — New appeal addressed to the German Princes 
— Petition to the king, .... 108 

To John Lusen. — Anxieties about the Churches of 
Poland — Refutation of the errors of Stancari, 112 

To Nicholas des Gallars. — Counsels for the direc- 
tion of the Church — Domestic news, . . 114 

To THE Earl of Bedford. — Agitations of Europe — 
Wishes for the re-establishmentof peace, and for the 
marriage of the Queen of England, . . 115 



DLXVII. To THE Waldenses. — He exhorts them to keep 
up friendly relations with the Reformed churches of 
Poland, . . . . . .117 

DLXVIII. To THE Duchess of Ferrara. — He apologizes 
for not having been able to send her a minister — 
exhorts her to free herself from the obligation of an 
oath they have imposed on her, and to show herself 
more firm in the profession of the gospel, . . 121 

DLXIX. To Bullinger. — Mission of Theodore Beza in 
France — Counsels to the churches of that country — 
Sending off of four pupils to Zurich — Death of a 
minister of Geneva, . . . .124 

DLXX. To Theodore Beza. — Troubles in France — Faults 
committed by the chiefs of the Reformed party — 
Sluggishness of the King of Navarre, . . 126 

DLXXT. To Sulcer. — Movements in Italy — Causes of the 

troubles in France — States of Fontainebleau, . 130 

DLXXII. To Bullinger. — Intrigues of the Guises in Ger- 
many, and of the Emperor in Italy — New details re- 
specting the Assembly of Fontainebleau — Speeches 
of the Chancellor, and of the Bishop of Valence — 
Progress of the gospel in France, . . . 133 

DLXXIII. To Nicholas des Gallars. — Domestic details — 

News of the Church and Academy of Geneva, . 139 
DLXXIV. To Bullinger. — Conspiracy of Lyons — Journey 
of the King of Navarre — Expectation of grave events 
in France, ...... 142 

DLXXV. To Bullinger. — Alliance of the Catholic Cantons 
with the Duke of Savoy — Uncertainty of the news 
from France — Death at Geneva, . . . 144 

DLXXYI. To Sturm. — Mission of Hotman and Beza to the 

King of Navarre — Apathy of that prince, . . 146 

DLXXVII. To Bullinger. — Unsuccessful issue of Beza's mis- 
sion to the King of Navarre — Success respecting the 
communication of Melancthon's letter — Intolerance 
of the German Theologians, . . . 148 

DLXX VIII. To Sulcer. — The sending of a pastor to the Church 
of St. Marie aux Mines — The arrival of the King 
of Navarre at the court — Arrestation of the' Prince 
of Conde, . . . . . .150 

DLXXIX. To Sturm.— Death of King Francis II.— Incon- 
siderate ardour of the Reformed — Moderating action 
of Calvin, ...... 152 

DLXXX. To THE Ministers of Paris. — Counsels respect- 
ing his conduct addressed to the King of Navarre, 154 





DLXXXI. To THE Reformed Churches op France. — 
Project of assembling a council — conditions re- 
quisite for its legitimacy, . . . 158 


DLXXXII. To THE King of Navarre. — He exhorts him 
to pursue with ardour the restoration of the gospel 
in France, ..... 161 

DLXXXIII. To THE Queen of Navarre. — He congratulates 
her on her conversion, and lays before her, her 
principal duties as a Christian princess, . . 162 

DLXXXiy. To THE Admiral Coligny. — Encomiums on the 
constancy of the Admiral — Recommendation of 
Geneva, ...... 165 

DLXXXV. To THE King of France. — Reply to the accu- 
sations directed against the Church and Seigneury 
of Geneva, . . . . .167 

DLXXXVI. To THE Church of Paris — He apologizes for 
not being able to send to it new ministers — Advice 
relating to the Council of Trent — Disapprobation 
of the excesses committed by the Reformed in the 
south of France, . . . . .170 

DLXXXVII. To John Lening.— Hostilities of the Duke of 
Savoy — Diversion in the valleys of Piedmont and 
at Nice — Unexpected preservation of Geneva, . 178 
DLXXXVIII. To the Admiral de Coligny. — An account 
and solemn disavowal of the conspiracy of Am- 
boise, ...... 175 

DXC. To John Knox. — Explanations on the subject 
of a letter — Expression of satisfaction at the pro- 
gress of the Reformation in Scotland and of sym- 
pathy for a domestic affliction, . . .183 
DXCI. To Christopher Goodman. — Pious admoni- 
tions on the occasion of the death of Knox's 
wife, ...... 185 

DXCII. To THE Church op Aix. — Duty of Christians 
to endure persecution without murmuring and 
without resistance, . . . .186 

DXCIII. To BuLLiNGER. — Intrigues of Vergerio in Ger- 
many: — Portrait of the King of Navarre. — Pro- 
gress of the gospel — Ardour of the French Pro- 
testants — Popular massacres, . . . 188 
DXCIV. To Ambrose Blaurer. — News from France — 
Mission of new ministers — Rage of the Parliaments 
— Lutheran Intolerance, ... 191 



DXCV. To THE Admiral de Coligny. — Pious exhortations 

— Renewed recommendation of Geneva, . . 192 

DXCVI. To THE King or Navarre. — Keen censure of the 

foibles of this monarch, .... 194 

DXCVII. To THE Church of Nimes. — Ecclesiastical troubles, 

and counsels how to remedy them, • . . 197 

DXCVIII. To James Stuart — He engages him to persevere 
in his pious efforts for the advancement of the reign of 
Jesus Christ in Scotland, .... 200 
DXCTX. To THE Admiral de Coligny. — He pays homage 
to the zeal of the Admiral and the constancy of the 
French Protestants, ..... 202 
DC. To THE Pastors of Zurich. — A collection in 

favour of the Evangelical Churches of Piedmont, . 204 
DCI. To THE Church op Sauve. — Energetic censure of 
the acts of Vandalism committed by a minister of this 
church, 205 

DCII. To THE King of Navarre. — Recommendation of 

Theodore Beza, ..... 207 

DCIII. To Peter Martyr. — He exhorts him to repair to 
the religious conferences which are about to be held in 
France, ...... 208 

DCIV. To SuLCER. — Journey of Beza and Martyr to France 
— Preparations for the Colloquy of Poissy — Intrigues at 
the court of Wurtemberg, . . . .210 

DC V. To THE King op Navarre. — "Warning on the subject 
of the Lutheran intrigues to introduce into France the 
Confession of Augsburg, . . . . 212 

DCVI. To Theodore Beza. — Death of Guillaume de Trie — 

Penury of ministers at Geneva, . . .215 

DCVII. To Theodore Beza. — Fresh deaths at Geneva — 

Distrust of the Cardinals of Lorraine and Ferrara, . 217 
DCVIII. To Theodore Beza. — Doubts respecting the efficacy 
of the Colloquy of Poissy — Policy of the Romish Pre- 
lates — Criticism of the Augsburg Confession — Divers 
particulars, . . . . . .218 

DCIX. To the Admiral de Coligny. — He puts him on his 
guard against the Catholic and Lutheran intrigues — 
Recall of the minister Merlin to Geneva, . . 221 

DCX. To Madame de Coligny. — He congratulates her on 

her perseverance amidst many temptations and perils, 225 

DCXI. To the Comtesse de Roye. — He encourages her 
to persevere with her daughters in the profession of 
the truth, . . . . . .227 




DCXII. To Theodore Beza. — He compliments him ou his 
noble attitude at the Colloquy of Poissy, and rejoices 
at his success, ..... 229 

DCXIII. To THE CoMTE OF Erbach. — He urges him to 
employ his influence to prevent every attempt to in- 
troduce the Confession of Augsburg into France, . 231 

DCXIV. To Theodore Beza. — Ecclesiastical news — Apos- 

tleship of Viret in France — Reply to Baudouin, . 2.33 
DCXV. To Theodore Beza. — Blames the excesses com- 
mitted by the Reformed — Favourable dispositions 
of Catherine de Medicis — Escape of the Duke of 
Nemours, ...... 237 

DCXVI. To Salignac. — Congratulations and encourage- 
ments, ...... 239 

DCXVII. To Theodore Beza. — Journey of Theodore Beza's 
wife to France — Difficult situation of the Academy 
of G-eneva — Sending off of new ministers — The 
Duke of Longueville, and the Duke of Nemours — 
Divers salutations, ..... 242 

DCXVIII. To the Queen of Navarre. — Regret for the pro- 
longed absence of Beza — Writing against Baudouin 
— Letter to the Queen of Navarre, mother of Jane 
d'Albret, . . . . . .245 

DCXIX. To the King of Navarre. — Severe judgment re- 
specting the conduct of this prince, a renegado from 
the Reformed religion, .... 247 


DCXX. To M. DE CoLONGES. — Answer to three ques- 
tions, ...... 252 

DCXXI. To M. DE Passy. — He urges him to accept the 

functions of an evangelical minister, . . 254 

DCXXII. To Theodore Beza. — Catholic League — Recom- 
mendations of the family of Gruillaume de Frie — 
Last words of that Seigneur, . . . 256 

DCXXIII. To Theodore Beza. — Imprudent concession made 
to the Catholic prelates — Regrets and warnings of 
Calvin, ...... 258 

DCXXIY. To the Duchess of Ferrara. — League against 
the Reformation — Complaints respecting the conduct 
of the Duchess of Guise, .... 260 

DCXXV- To BuLLiNGER. — News of France — Disorders at 
Aix — Progress of the gospel — Negotiations with the 
court — Synod of Neuchatel, . . . 262 




DCXXVI. To Peter Martyr. — Disorders the precursors 
of the civil wars in France — Opposition of the Re- 
former to the Council of Trent, • . . 265 
DCXXVII. To THE Queen of Navarre. — Expression of 

warm sympathy for the trials of this princess, . 266 
DCXXVIII. To Sturm.— Mission of Bude into Germany- 
Duplicity of the Guises, .... 268 
DCXXIX. To THE Church of Lyons. — Severe admonitions 

because of the conduct of one of its ministers, . 269 
DCXXX. To the Baron des Adrets. — He exhorts him 
to repress severely the disorders of those of his 
party at Lyons, ..... 272 
DCXXXI. To Monsieur de Diesbach. — He urges him to 
send succour to the Reformed who were besieged 
in Lyons, . . . . • 274 

DCXXXII- To BuLLiNGER. — An appeal addressed to the 
Seigneurs of Berne in favour of the French Pro- 
testants — Succours from England and Germany 
— Juridical massacres at Toulouse — Preliminaries 
of the civil war, ..... 275 
DCXXXIII. To BuLLiNGER. — A petition in favour of a prisoner 

of the inquisition at Milan, . . . 277 

DCXXXIV. To THE Churches of Languedoc. — A collec- 
tion for the benefit of the German soldiers enrolled 
under the banner of the Reformed churches, . 278 
DCXXXV. To SuLCER. — Political and military news from 
France — Catherine de Medicis — The Emperor 
Ferdinand — The Turks — The Queen of England 
— Complaints against Peter Toussain, . . 280 

DCXXXVI. To BuLLiNGER. — First religious war — Respective 
force of the two parties — Siege of Lyons — The 
Duke of Nemours — Des Adrets — News of Ger- 
many, and the Council of Trent, . . . 282 


DCXXXVII. To BULLINGER.— Battle of Dreux— Captivity of 
Conde — Imposing attitude of Coligny — Theodore 
Beza at Orleans — Mission of the Cardinal de Lor- 
raine to Germany — False news from France, . 286 
DCXXXVIII. To THE Queen op Navarre. — Counsels for the 
abolition of the Catholic worship and the establish- 
ment of the pure gospel in Navarre, . . 290 
DCXXXIX. To M. DE SouBiSE.— He exhorts him to lay 
down arms after the conclusion of a treaty disad- 
vantageous to his party, . . , .295 



DCXL. To BuLLlNGER. — Treaty of Amboise — Strictures 
on this treaty concluded by the Prince of Conde with- 
out the approbation of Coligny and the principal Pro- 
testant chiefs, . . . . .297 

DCXLI. To THE CoMTESSE DE RoYE. — He blames the con- 
duct of the Prince of Conde, and deplores the condi- 
tion of the French churches badly protected by the 
last treaty, ...... 301 

DCXLII. To THE Marquise de Rothelin — He congratulates 
her on her firmness in the midst of troubles, and ex- 
horts her to perseverance, .... 303 

DCXLIII. To M. DE Crussol. — Sad condition of France, pre- 
sage of new troubles — Double message to the Prince 
of Conde and De Coligny, .... 304 

DCXLIV- To Madame de Crussol. — Wishes for the happy 
success of the journey to court, which she is about to 
undertake — Pious exhortations, . . . 306 

DCXLV. To the Prince Porcien. — He exhorts him to 

glorify God in life as in death, . . . 307 

DCXL VI. To the Prince of Conde. — Instructions respect- 
ing the greatest advantages to be derived from the 
treaty of Amboise — The sending off of a confession 
of faith to Germany — Alliance with Swisserland — 
Recommendation of Geneva, . . . 309 

DCXL VII. To the Duchess or Ferrara. — He congratulates 
her on her noble conduct amidst the civil wars — Ex- 
horts her to keep her house free from all scandal, and 
recommends to her an ancient servant, . . 313 

DCXLVIII. To Monsieur de Soubise. — Counsels respecting 
the conduct he ought to hold in very difficult con- 
junctures, ...... 316 

DCXLIX. To THE Queen of Navarre. — Sending off minis- 
ters — Claiming of a debt contracted by the King of 
Navarre, . . . . . .318 

DCL. To Bullinger. — Sufferings of Calvin — News of 
the court and kingdom of France — Precautions against 
the Confession of Augsburg, . . . 320 

DCLI. To Bullinger. — News of France — Reply of Coligny 
and Theodore Beza to a calumnious accusation — Siege 
of Havre, . . . . . .323 

DCLII. To Bullinger. — Disturbances at Rouen — Uncer- 
tainty respecting the projects of Coligny — Calm at 
Lyons, ...... 325 

DCLIII. To Monsieur de Crussol. — Answer to some 

scruples expressed by this seigneur, . . 326 



DCLIV. To THE Admiral de Coligny. — Communications 
respecting the printing of a memorial — Wishes for 
the prompt return of the Admiral to the court, . 328 

DCLV. To Madame de Coligny. — The Christian uses of 

sickness, . . . . . .331 

DCLVI. To THE CoMTESSE DE Seninghen. — He exhorts 
her to show herself firm in the profession of the faith 
and patient in affliction, .... 332 
DCLVII. To BuLLiNGER. — Taking of Havre from the English 
— Majority of King Charles IX. — Movements of the 
Duke of Savoy, . . . . .334 

DCLVIII. To THE Prince op Conde. — Request concerning 
the publication of a confession of faith — Blame of 
the gallantries of the prince, . . . 337 

DCLIX. To Bullinger. — News of France — Humiliation of 
the Parliament of Paris and of the Guises — False 
news of the death of the Duke of Savoy, . . 339 

DCLX. To Mercer. — ^New proposals of a chair in the 

Academy of Geneva, . . . .341 

DCLXT. To M. DE Loines. — Councillor in the court of Par- 
liament of Paris — Exhortation not to abandon his 
office of councillor and still less the truth, . 343 

DCLXII. To Bullinger. — Versatile policy of Catherine de 
Medicis — Departure of Conde — Favour of Coligny — 
Intolerance of the Guises — Oppression of the Pro- 
testants in the provinces — Necessity for assuring to 
them some guaranties, .... 345 


DCLXIII. To THE Duchess of Ferrara. — Counsels for the 

direction of her household — Present of a medal, . 348 
DCLXIV. To THE Duchess of Ferrara. — Answer to a 
letter of this princess concerning the condemnation 
of the Duke of Guise and the beatification of the King 
of Navarre — Is it lawful to hate our enemies — Eulogy 
of Coligny, . . . . . .352 

DCLXV. To THE Physicians of Montpellier. — Medical 

consultation, ..... 358 

DCLXVI. To THE Duchess of Ferrara. — Homage rendered 
to the piety of this princess — Eulogy of her niece the 
Duchess of Savoy, ..... 360 

DCLXVII. To Bullinger. — Sufierings of Calvin and the in- 
efficacy of the healing art to relieve them — News of 
France and Germany, .... 362 

DCLX VIII. To Farel.— Last adieus, . . . .364 




Last Will and Testament op Master John Calvin, . 365 

Calvin's Farewell to the Seigneurs of Geneva, . . 369 

Calvin's Farewell to the Ministers of Geneva, . . 372 




I. To Francis Daniel. — Preparations for his departure for 
Switzerland — Recommendation of a physician, . . 381 


II. To BuCER. — Unsuccessful results of the Colloquy of Berne 
— Sacramentarian discord — Remarkable judgment concern- 
ing Luther — Violence of the Bernese Minister Conzen — 
Appeal to Bucer, ...... 382 

III. To Bullinger. — An account of the conferences at Berne 
— Vain attempt at reconciliation between Geneva and the 
exiled ministers — Sad state of this church after the banish- 
ment of Farel and Calvin, ..... 392 


IV. To Zebedee. — Pressing invitations to concord — Apology 
for Bucer — Judgment respecting Zwingli, Luther, Carlostadt 

— Necessity of union, ..... 400 


V. To ViRET.— Tragical death of one of the chiefs of the 
Libertine party at Geneva — Discourse pronounced by Calvin 
on this occasion, ...... 405 


VI. To ViRET. — Mention of Servetus — Marriage of the minister 
Merlin — Epistolary vexations, .... 409 



VII. To Brentz. — Message of consolation and fraternal sym- 
pathy, ....... 411 


VIII. To Ambrose Blaurer. — Sends him divers works — 
News of Italy — Belgium and France — Disturbances in 
Germany — Chastisement of Constance, . . 413 

IX. To Francis Dryander. — Consultation on the subject 
of a new edition of the Bible — Troubles in Geneva — 
Apology of Calvin for himself, . . . 415 


X. To Farel. — Misunderstanding between Farel and his 
colleague Christopher Fabric Attempt to reconcile them, 419 


XI. To Christopher Piperin. — Trials and tribulations of 

Calvin at Geneva, ..... 421 

XII. To Count Tarnovs'. — An exhortation strenuously to 

promote the propagation of the Gospel in. Poland, . 423 


XIII. To Godfrey Varaglia. — Exhortation to Martyrdom, 427 


XIV. To Macar. — Congratulations on the zeal which he dis- 
plays at Paris — Difficulties that stand in the way of send- 
ing off new ministers — Letter of the king of Navarre — 
Divers particulars, ..... 429 

XV. To Macar. — Community of sufferings between the 

churches of Paris and Geneva — Hope of better days, . 432 

An Historical Calumny reputed, . . . 434 

XVI. To Monseigneur, Monseigneur du Poet, General 

OF Religion in Dauphin y, . . . .438 

XVII. To Monseigneur, Monseigneur du Poet, Grant 
Chamberlain of Navarre and Governor of the 
town of Montelimart at Crest, . . . 439 

XVIII. To a Baron of Dauphiny, .... 441 ' 


DXXII.— To William Cecil.' 

Hopes connected with the accession of Elizabeth. Wishes for the establishment of 

the pure gospel in England. 

Geneva, 29th January, 1559. 

I SHALL make no tedious apology, most distinguished sir, for 
now writing to you familiarly, though personally I am unknown 
to you ; for relying on the information of some pious individuals, 
who have extolled your courtesy, I trust that you will he 
naturally disposed to give a favourable reception to my letter, 
and especially, when, after having perused it, you shall be aware 
of the motives which dictated it. Since the time when, dis- 
persing the fearful cloud of darkness that had well nigh reduced 
to despair all pious minds, a new light has miraculously shone 
forth — the fame is rife that you are strenuously engaged in 
directing the no common influence which you possess over the 
queen, to scatter the superstitions of popery which have over- 
shadowed your land for the last four years, and to cause the 

' William Cecil, Baron Burleigh, secretary of state under Edward VI., and one of 
the ablest ministers of Queen Elizabeth. He took a leading part in the convocation 
of the Parliament, the promulgation of the thirty-nine articles, and the adoption of 
the different measures which re-established the Reformation in England. He died in 
1598. Informed by Peter Martyr of the death of Mary, and the accession of a princess 
known for her attachment to the Protestant faith, Calvin hastened to offer to Cecil 
his wishes and counsels. 


16 WILLIAM CECIL. [1559. 

uncorrupted doctrine of the gospel and the pure worship of God 
again to flourish among you. One thing, however, I may 
suggest, that what you are now doing you should go on to do 
with increased activity and a constancy which is not to be over- 
come ; and that no vexatious difficulties, struggles, or terrors, 
should ever, I do not say, defeat, but even for one moment 
retard your holy endeavours. I doubt not indeed but obstacles 
are every now and then occurring, or that even dangers openly 
menace you, which would damp the resolution of the most 
courageous, did not God sustain them by the marvellous efficacy 
of his Spirit. But this is a cause above all others for the de- 
fence of which we are not permitted to shrink from any kind 
of labour. As long as the children of God were exposed to 
open and avowed slaughter, you yourself held your place along 
with the others. Now at last when by the recent and unlocked 
for blessing of God greater liberty has been restored to them, it 
behoves you to take heart, so that if hitherto you have been 
timid, you may now make up for your deficiency by the ardour 
of your zeal. Not that I am ignorant how much mischief is 
sometimes produced by undue precipitation, and how many per- 
sons retard, by an inconsiderate and headlong zeal, what they 
strive to drag all at once to an issue. But on the other hand 
you are bound gravely to ponder — that we are doing God's 
work when we assert the uncorrupted truth of his gospel and 
all-holiness, and that so it should not be set about with slack- 
ness. From your position you can better ascertain how much 
of progress it will be expedient to make, and where it may be 
fitting to adopt a prudent moderation ; still, however, remember 
that all delay, coloured by whatever specious pretexts, ought to be 
regarded by you with suspicion. 

One thing, which, as I conjecture, you have to fear, is a 
popular tumult, since among the nobles of the kingdom are not 
wanting many sowers of sedition, and should the English be 
torn by domestic broils, tReir neighbours are there, ever on the 
watch to improve and aggravate every opportunity. Never- 
theless as her most excellent majesty, the queen, has been 
raised to the throne in a wonderful manner by the hand of God, 
she cannot otherwise testify her gratitude than by a prompt 

1559.] WILLIAM CECIL. 17 

alacrity in shaking off all obstacles and overcoming by her 
magnanimity all impediments. But since it is scarcely possible 
that in so disturbed and confused a state of affairs, she should 
not, in the beginning of her reign, be distracted, held in sus- 
pense by perplexities, and often forced to hold a vacillating 
course, I have taken the liberty of advising h6r that having 
once entered upon the right path, she should unflinchingly per- 
severe therein. Whether I have acted prudently in so doing, 
let others judge. If by your co-operation my admonitions shall 
bring forth fruit, I shall not repent of my advice. 

And do you also, most illustrious sii", continually keep in 
mind that you have been exalted by providence to the rank of 
dignity and favour which you now occupy, in order that you 
should give yourself entirely up to this task, and strain every 
nerve for the promotion of this great work. And lest you 
should feel any supineness stealing upon you, let the momentous- 
ness of these two things be ever and anon presenting themselves 
to your mind: first, that religion which has fallen into such 
wretched abasement, the doctrine of salvation which has been 
corrupted by such execrable errors, the worship of God which 
has been so foully polluted, should recover their primitive lustre, 
and the church should be cleansed from her defilements; next, 
that the children of God should be at liberty to invoke his 
name in purity, and those who have been scattered again assem- 
bled together. 

Farewell, most illustrious and most respected sir. May the 
Lord govern you by his Spirit, protect you, and enrich you with 
every blessing. 

[Calvin's Lat. corresp., Opera, ix. p. 113.] 


DXXIII.— To THE Prisoners of Paris.' 

He apologizes for the silence ■which he has kept with respect to them, and exhorts 
them to persevere in the profession of the truth. 

18«^ February, 1559. 

The love of God our Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ be always upon you, by the communication of the Holy 

Dearest Brethren: — If I have delayed till now to write 
to you, it has not been for want of good will to employ myself 
in whatever I might think calculated to give you some consola- 
tion, or confirm you more and more in that holy constancy which 
God has bestowed on you ; but because I was quite confident 
that our brethren of your city acquitted themselves of their duty, 
I did not think my letters very necessary nor greatly desired 
by you. 

Now since I see that they may be profitable, I should con- 
sider myself void of humanity if I did not defer to your request. 
True it is, I am obliged to claim your indulgence if I do not 
satisfy it entirely, nor even in such a manner as I could wish. 
For a quartan ague, which I have had for four months, and 
which has not yet left me, prevents me from discharging the 
third part of the affairs to which I ought to give my attention 
if I were in better health. When I compare the slight suffering 
under which I pine, which is almost nothing, with the afflictions 
which oppress you ; when I reflect also what succour I receive, 
and on the contrary how cruelly you are harassed and mal- 
treated, I have occasion not only to take patience and feel 
myself relieved, but to be moved to the deepest compassion and 

• In a note: "He wrote this letter to the three prisoners who were in the Concier- 
gerie of Paris. One of them was named Meric Favre, and had been apprehended in 
the assembly of the Rue St. Jacques." 

These prisoners were not put to death, but were condemned to perpetual banish- 
ment. But one of the companions of their captivity, John Barbeville of Rouen, 
perished at the stake on the 6th of March, 1559. The flame having consumed his 
bonds, he raised his hands thus let loose to heaven; "and peaceably without any 
great .signs of pain, rendered up his soul to God." Hist, dea Martyrs. L. vii. 
p. 457. 


to groan for the temptations with which you may be assailed — 
as also to pray our bountiful Father that he would mitigate 
your sorrow and strengthen you against assaults, which if you 
find hard and difficult to support, be not surprised, knowing 
that the virtue of our faith is not to be insensible, but to strive 
against our passions; nay that God wills us to feel the aid of 
his Spirit by our infirmities — according to the answer given to 
Paul. Especially as your long imprisonment cannot but 
annoy, at the same time that it humbles, you doubt not but God 
bears with your weakness when you strive against it. In the 
meantime invoke him, as need calls for it, that he may endow 
you with perseverance to lead you to a full victory, and that he 
may fortify you with those arms which you have hitherto proved 
to be sufficient to defeat Satan and his agents. You know in 
what strife you are engaged, it is that God may be glorified, 
the truth of the gospel approved, and the reign of our Lord Jesus 
exalted in its dignity. 

That should stir you up to much greater efforts than those 
of men who every day expose themselves to death for the service 
of their earthly princes, whose silly ambition or hopes are 
animated by the prospect of acquiring favour and credit. Now 
when we see these poor blinded mortals thus rushing into perils, 
we have wherewithal to contemplate ourselves in the mirror of 
their example, and not to lose courage, when we are called upon 
to march where the heavenly King summons us. Nay, since 
he never sets us to work but for our own salvation, and our 
state is not made worse by our death, but on the contrary, if he 
is pleased to conduct us even to that extremity, he converts it 
into a blessing and a gain for us. And in fact he has no need 
of us for his witnesses or advocates to support his cause. But 
it is so much honour he confers upon us when he employs us in 
a matter so precious and honourable. For the rest, take it for 
granted that though you are in the hands of your enemies you 
are not the less for that under the protection of Him who has 
the issues of death in his hand, as is said in the psalms, and who 
has thereby infinite means of delivering you, if it be his pleasure. 
But whatever happen — prepare yourselves to make to him the 
sacrifice of your lives if he be pleased to demand it. And let 


not your zeal be cooled by the mockeries and threats of the un- 
godly, for though they vent their malice on our simplicity, it 
ought to suflBce us that it is well pleasing to God. Accordingly 
laying before your eyes the example of Jesus Christ, who was 
assailed by the like scoffings of the despisers of God, put in 
practice what is taught in the 119th psalm: Let thy mercies 
come also unto me, even thy salvation according to thy word, so 
shall 1 have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me. 
Again, the proud have had me greatly in derision, yet have I 
not declined from thy law. Again, the wicked have laid a 
snare for me, yet I erred not from thy precepts. Again, princes 
have persecuted me without a cause; but my heart standeth in 
awe of thy word. Again, princes have sat down and taken 
counsel against me, and thy servant has meditated on thy 

And learn with Isaiah to take God for protector, in order not 
to be terrified by the haughtiness and presumption of those who 
thus vent their rage against the heavens. Nevertheless fail not 
to practise modesty and gentleness, to see if you may not gain 
them over, not only to abate their animosity against you, and 
draw them to yield obedience to God. Only do not decline 
from the good path on which you have entered, and in which 
you have continued up to the present time ; but having raised 
your eyes to heaven, aspire to the palm which is prepared for 
you — to which end we pray God to grant you his grace, show- 
ing himself your protector, making you feel it and giving such 
an issue to your afflictions, that we may have all subject to bless 
his holy name. My brethren unite in this last wish, though I 
trust that Monsieur de Racam ' will write to you separately. 
Your loving brother, 

Charles D'Espeville. 

[Fr. copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

' Or Macar, a minister of the Church of Paris, then at Geneva. 


DXXIV. — To THE French Church of Frankfort.' 

Warning on the subject of the new doctrines disseminated in this church. 

Geneva, 2Zd February, 1559. 

The love of God our Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ be always upon you, by the communication of the Holy 

Dearly beloved seigneurs and brethren, though the long 
malady with which God afflicts me is not without its discomfort,^ 
and though the desolation of the poor church of Lausanne 
torments me much more than my own personal sufferings,^ yet 
the troubles which I have heard that Satan has anew stirred 
up among you have not failed to cause me a fresh distress and 
anguish. The experience of the past ought assuredly to restrain 
those who have again begun to break the unity and concord 
which God of his goodness had established among you. But if 
you perceive any so wedded to their own opinions that their 
ambition and curiosity tend to the ruin of the church, it is for 
you to apply a remedy. And if they are so obstinate as not to 
yield to remonstrance, you cannot but apply the usual remedy, 
that of excluding them from your society. I am aware that in 
giving you advice, I cannot avoid subjecting myself to the 
accusation of undertaking too much, instead of confining myself 
to the duties of my charge, without wishing to extend my 
direction so far. But it is enough for me to have God for my 

' Long a prey to intestine strife and divisions, this church was threatened with new 
perils, by the invasion of mystical and Anabaptist doctrines, the contagion of which 
had spread rapidly over some of the Reformed churches of Germany. 

* " The year 1559, (Calvin) was attacked by a long and severe tertian ague, during 
which he was forced to his great regret to abstain from reading and preaching. . . 
This disease left him in such a state of debility, that he never afterwards recovered 
his full strength." Beza, Vita Calvini. 

3 The deposition of the minister Viret by the Seigneurs of Berne (20th January, 
1569) was succeeded by the abdication of forty of his colleagues, who like him had in 
vain called for the establishment of an ecclesiastical discipline. Ruchat. Hist, de la 
Be/., T. vi. p. 256, and the following. Among the ministers who threw up their 
charges, were Theodore Besa, Raymond Merlin, Berault, who became the ornaments 
of the new Academy of Geneva. 


witness that the love which I bear towards you and the zeal 
which I have for your salvation excite and constrain me, and 
to my own great regret too, to interfere in your affairs. I am 
also persuaded that most (I might venture to say all) of you are 
convinced of it, though some who are vexed when good is done, 
murmur at what they themselves feel to be proper and useful. 

Nevertheless I had rather hope, when all shall see that my 
efforts tend to unite what has been dispersed without offend- 
ing any, that there will not be a single individual who Viill not 
feel obliged to me for having busied myself on this occasion. I 
entreat you then, my brethren, let me have wherewithal to re- 
joice, and console me for my other afflictions, on learning that 
my letters shall have been profitable to you and contributed to 
bring you to a good intelligence. The greatest misfortune is 
that even your two pastors are at variance,' for if parties and 
contentions among private persons are a plague in the church, 
what must it be when the messengers of peace are at war? And 
it is for that reason we should lose no time in applying a remedy, 
for fear, the evil having gained head, we come too late to correct 
it. If Paul deigned to take upon himself the task of recon- 
ciling women, and has on that subject written to the whole church 
of the Philippians, inasmuch as they had laboured along with 
him for the gospel, how much more, if there be a difference 
among pastors, whose office it is to settle all quarrels, should 
every one strive to bring succour, as if we had to extinguish a 
fire which might consume everything? 

However, I pretend not to judge the point at issue, except 
with regard to some pamphlets which certain persons have 
wished to introduce or to approve of, I mean the Cferman 
Theology — and concerning the New Man.^ Respecting that 

* Francis Perucel and William Olbrac. The latter was then on the point of quitting 
Frankfort to go to Strasbourg. These two ministers were at variance respecting the 
Lord's supper. 

*Is it the work entitled, " Theologia Germanica, libellus aureus, quomodo sit es- 
uendus vetus homo, induendusque novus, ex Germanico anonymi equitis Teutoniei, 
translatus studio Johannis Theophili," Basilese, 1557, translated from Latin into French 
with this title : " German Theology, a treatise in which is handled how to put off the 
old man, and put on the new man," Antwerp, 1558, 8vo? — Aremarkable monument of 
the ancient German mysticism, published by Luther, translated by Castalio; this book 
might offend the rigid orthodoxy of Calvin, but not incur the censure of the Lutheraa 



subject, if I have ever attained any knowledge or proper appre- 
ciation of the word of God — I could have desired that the 
authors had abstained from handling it. For the work contains 
^ no notable errors, yet there are in it conceits contrived by the 
craft of Satan to perplex all the simplicity of the gospel. And 
if you look into it more narrowly, you will find there a hidden 
and mortal venom fit to poison the church. Wherefore my 
brethren, above all things I pray and exhort you in the name 
of God to shun like a pestilence all those who shall endeavour 
to infect you with such trash. I entreat those also M'ho up to 
this moment have given heed to it, to be better advised and no 
longer to feed the evil which they shall be unable to remedy 
when they will. Meanwhile strive towards this end that your 
pastors be united in good brotherhood to do their duty. Beware 
of all contention which should break the "bonds of peace and in- 
crease the dispersion of which the evil beginnings are already 
but too visible. Whereupon 1 pray our heavenly Father to give 
you counsel and prudence, to mortify all disorderly passions; 
and in general to have you in his keeping, to fortify you with 
his invincible power, and to prevent what he has built up in you 
from falling into ruin. My brethren greet you, and I especially 
desire to be commended to your fervent prayers. 
[Fr. copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DXXV. — To AuGusTiN Legrant.^ 

• Severe admonitions. 

Geneva, 23d February, 1559. 

Seigneur Augustin : — I am truly grieved because of the af- 
fection I entertain for you to hear such painful news of you, and 

magistrates of Frankfort. Is it not more likely that the writing in question, the 
{lublication of which occasioned new troubles in the French Church of Frankfort, was 
the mystical and Anabaptist work of the physician Vadius, entitled according to 
some : " Summary of Christian Doctrine and Life;" according to others: Treatise 
touching the manner and way of human life, or respecting the beatitudes of man. 
See Bayle, art. Vehius, and Lutheran Documents of the Church of Frankfort. 

' Augustin Legrant, one of the elders of the French Church of Frankfort. He 
began to sign in this capacity the registers of this church, on the last of February 


still more to be obliged to write to you in harsher terms than I 
could wish. Though I have perceived in you too great an im- 
petuosity of mind, and outbreaks that I could well have desired 
to have been moderated and kept down, nevertheless I should 
never have expected so much thoughtlessness on your part as 
you have shown, in going to seek for the deceptions of the devil 
in that accursed school which is calculated to annihilate all re- 
ligion, inducing men by crooked ways to give themselves in the 
end a license to turn God and all religion into derision. Expe- 
rience shows how much you have profited in it by your spread- 
ing about vain conceits full of mortal venom, which is of itself 
too great an evil, but which, moreover, has been the occasion 
of sowing dissensions in that poor church that has been so 
violently torn, that it will be possible to restore it only by little 
and little. You were -already reminded of that, and have only 
shown yourself so much the more thoughtless — precisely like 
Saul when he had recourse to the sorceress. 

Reflect on this saying: Woe to him by whom scandal cometh. 
I spare you not in order that God may spare you. And in 
truth I desire to make you feel the enormity of your fault, in 
order that you may be the more disposed to submit with a will- 
ing mind to the remedy — which is, that forsaking these incon- 
siderate levities to which you have given too much way, you re- 
turn peaceably to the fold, and testify that it is not your fault 
if there is not good concord. When you shall do this, be per- 
suaded that all those who loved you heretofore will have the 
sweet satisfaction of loving you more than ever. For myself in 
particular, if I receive these welcome ne"V8S, preserving no recol- 
lection of what our heavenly Father shall have buried in oblivion, 
I shall cherish you more than before, and shall have the 
weight of my sorrow diminished. Wherefore I will pray God 
to direct you by his Holy Spirit, and bless you along with your 

[Fr. copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

1558. The adversary of Valeran Poulain, he had disputes with this minister which 
terminated but with the death of the latter, in 1557 ; a partisan of the new theology, 
he drew upon himself the censure of Calvin, who no doubt had known him at Frank- 


DXXVI.— To Martin Micronius.' 

Progress of the Reformation in Sweden — The dispatch of a writing — News of Geneva 

and Lausanne. 

Geneva, 23d February, 1559. 

If I but seldom write to you, my dear brother, I am per- 
suaded that you do not take it amiss, for should I send you a 
letter, most of the charm arising from it would be dissipated in 
consequence of the distance which separates us, or rather the 
letter itself would be lost on the road. Just as it happened to 
the one containing a refutation of the ravings of Memnon,'^ 
which you declare never reached you ; and yet the brethren 
of Frankfort had promised to deliver it to a trust-worthy mes- 
senger. At present I do not send you one of mere compli- 
ments ; for I have a commission to charge you with,'^ one, how- 
ever, which I trust you will find neither troublesome nor dis- 
agreeable — for it will not put you to much inconvenience to 
present or to cause to be sent to a pastor who is a neighbour of 
yours a letter which I am now writing to him. 

My second request is rather more difficult to comply with. 
It is that you would contrive to communicate to Philipperius, 
the contents of the letter I now address to yourself. For though 
I am afraid you have but few opportunities of sending into 
Sweden, yet I fancy Philipperius at his departure must have 
taken steps for establishing some communication backwards and 
forwards between you. I have not hesitated to have recourse to 
your co-operation and kindness to obtain what I so greatly de- 
sire. • 

I have been requested by a certain Frenchman resident in 
Sweden (whose name has escaped my memory, for I have 

* Expelled from London along with the congregation of foreign Protestants, on the 
accession of Mary, rejected from Wismar hy the intolerance of the Lutheran clergy, 
Micronius, after having long wandered in the north of Germany, had become pastor 
of the Church of Norden, in the present Hanover. 

' The Memnonite heresy, spread over the north of the Netherlands, renewed the 
ancient errors of Eutyches respecting the humanity of Christ. 

2 See the following letter, 



mislaid his letter, I do not know how) if I had anything in 
hand that I should dedicate it to the king of the Swedes, and 
especially for the sake of his son, whom he asserts to be ani- 
mated by a wonderful spirit of piety, that by this incitement he 
may be still more stirred up. 

I have been induced by these reasons to comply with his re- 
quest. But as I have no means of sending copies of the books, 
I inform Philipperius of all the circumstances of the case and 
give him this commission — that having procured one copy he 
may offer it to the king. It is of great importance indeed that 
a goodly quantity of copies should be dispatched there, because 
in a nation so remote, the name of the king would prepare a 
favourable reception for the orthodox doctrine. And this was 
my principal motive. In the meantime, it would not be polite 
to neglect to let the king know how much his conduct is ap- 
proved of by all the children of God even at a distance, in lay- 
ing the foundation of pure religion in his dominions ; and above 
all it were well that his son, who is everywhere spoken of as a 
most prudent prince, should be more and more animated by the 
prayers of the pious to persevere in his activity. 

Of the state of our affairs I scarcely dare to speak. Our 
city tranquil in the interior is cruelly harassed by its neighbours. 
I do not speak of the two monarchs between whom peace can 
scarcely be confirmed except by our ruin, and thus as far as 
they are concerned we are daily marked out for destruction.^ 
But our allies who hesitate to protect and defend us are deterred 
by no considerations of alliance or ties of a common religion 
from proceeding to alj extremities against us. Nor is it sur- 
prising that they should act with such hostility towards us when 
at home they have plunged everything into c'onfusion. 

Because Viret was rather more urgent than they wished in 
exacting discipline, they have deposed him and two of his col- 
leagues from the ministry, and not content with this they have 
pronounced against him a sentence of banishment. He is re- 

' The month of June this year, the monarchs of France and of Spain being recon- 
ciled conspired the destruction of the seat of heresy at Geneva. An expedition 
against this city resolved upon by common consent; and commanded by the Duke of 
Alba, was prevented only by the sudden death of Henry II. 


tained only till he promise upon oath that he will submit to 
their decision. Thirty-two have been summoned that they may 
undergo to-day at Berne the same judgment. Beza has acted 
more wisely, who has spontaneously anticipated their decision. 
A great many terrified by this barbarous conduct will follow his 
example. The dispersion of that church is a sad and horrible 
thing. But so it behoved matters to turn out, that at length 
the cloud of darkness being dissipated, God might bring us some 

Farewell, most excellent brother, salute all our friends in my 
name. May the Lord preserve you all in safety, govern you 
by his Spirit, strengthen you with fortitude, and bestow on you 
his blessing. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Zurich, Shnler. Vol. 94.] 

DXXVII. — To THE Prince Royal of Sweden.* 

Dedication of a writing to Gustavus Wasa. 

Geneva, 26<A. February, 1559. 

If any one should tax me with temerity, most excellent and 
noble king, for having taken the liberty of dedicating a public 
work to your father, the same person will most probably con- 
ceive that I have doubled my fault in not hesitating privately 
to address your majesty in the present letter, just as if an hum- 
ble individual were permitted to hold familiar intercourse with 
you, I expect, however, a much more indulgent judgment from 

' Eric (XIV. of that name), appointed King of Sweden during the lifetime of his 
father, Gustavus Wasa, did not merit the eulogiums which Calvin had publicly be- 
stowed on his taste for letters and his piety. See on this subject the preface to the 
Commentary on Hosea dedicated by Calvin to Gustavus Wasa. In praising Eric, the 
Reformer pays the most splendid and merited homage to his father : 

" You need not be surprised, most noble king, that a homage is paid to your 
majesty from so distant a country and by a person almost unknown to you, who on 
account of the distinguished and heroic gifts both of mind and body in which he has 
understood that you abound, professes himself entirely devoted to you." 

Gustavus Wasa having died the 29th of September, 1560, Eric succeeded him, was 
di-iveu from the throne in 1568, and perished by a violent death in 1577. 


your well-known urbanity which is so loudly commended. And 
to confess frankly the truth, relying most confidently on your 
patronage, I have set my heart on this dedication, which should 
serve as a token of the profound respect I entertain for 
all your royal house, but above all that I might associate 
with the heroic virtues of your father, and inscribe on my 
work, your name as in due time to be the heir to them. For I 
have learned from two countrymen of mine who have been pro- 
tected by you and are in your service, what distinguished favour 
you have shown them as professors of polite letters, which favour 
you also extend to all those who have faithfully bestowed their 
labours in purging the doctrine of pure and uncorrupted piety 
from shameful superstitions and barbarous ignorance ; and that 
I was also deemed by your majesty a labourer in this work. 
What talents I have brought to this task in order that my labour 
should not prove unsuccessful, it is not for me to judge. But as 
I have an entire conviction that in my studies I proposed to 
myself no other end than to cause the uncorrupted worship of 
God to flourish, and that the doctrine which is from heaven 
being restored to its original purity should obtain in the world 
that reverence to which it is entitled, I willingly accept your 
judgment on that point. It is for that reason I have not 
feared to beg of your majesty in this letter not only favourably 
to accept the homage I now respectfully tender you, but also to 
interest your father in behalf of my book, that its utility sanc- 
tioned by such authority may be more widely disseminated. 
For ambition has not engaged me to grace my book with your 
illustrious names, but my desire was that my labour should give 
an additional impulse to those already disposed of their own 
accord to run the good race, and that it might be profitable at 
the same time to the men of your nation. Farewell, most ex- 
cellent and noble prince. May the Lord long preserve your 
majesty in safety and prosperity, govern you by the spirit of 
wisdom, fortitude, and equity, and enrich you more and more 
with every excellent gift. Amen. 

Your most devoted, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


DXXVIII.— To Farel.i 

Dispersion of the Churches of the Pays de Vaud. 

Geneva, 2&th. February, 1559. 

Since you passed through this country, my dear N , the sad 

dispersion of the Church of Lausanne has taken place. When 
Viret was not to he shaken from his purpose, he was deposed 
fi'om his office along with two of his colleagues. As the whole 
class associated themselves with his cause, they were confined in 
the citadel. Afterwards having pledged their faith to appear 
before the tribunal they were set at liberty. They are now ex- 
pecting the sentence which is to send them into exile, to such a 
degree has been carried the rage of those whom God has struck 
with a spirit of giddiness. Though all the godly are now in 
sorrow and mourning, the wicked wantonly insult Christ and 
his faithful followers. Nevertheless God, who is wont to make 
light to arise out of darkness, will bring round a more favour- 
able issue. With regard to myself, I have been now for upwards 
of four months sufi"ering from a quartan ague which has kept 
rae hitherto confined to my bed-room, because my body is ema- 
ciated and my physical strength exhausted. At present a slight 
relaxation in my complaint gives me some hopes of a return of 
health. Again, farewell. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DXXIX. — To Madame de Coligny.s 

False«tidings of the deliverance of the Admiral. Consolations on that subject. 

GenetA, 27th Fehruary, 1559. 

Madame : — The common rumour respecting the deliverance 
of Monseigneur gave us a momentary joy which has only en- 
hanced our regret at learning so shortly after that we have been 

' Without an address. This letter seems written to Parel who had just undertaken 
a new journey for spreading the gospel at Metz. 

" Transferred from the Castle of I'Ecluse to the Castle of Gaud, the Admiral still 
continued the captive of the Spaniards. He did not recover his liberty before tha 
month of April, 1559, after the conclusion of the peace of Cateau-Cambresis. 


disappointed in our desire and opinion. But though matters have 
not fallen out according to our wishes, nevertheless it is your 
duty to put in practice what the Scriptures teach us of the long 
expectations of faith, and that the patience enjoined us is not that 
of a year or two's duration, but that we are called upon to keep 
our affections in suspense till the favourable opportunity come 
round; and continually I have recourse to Him to whom it be- 
longs to determine it, praying him to hear our requests, support 
our infirmities, and for the time that it will please him to let us 
languish, to fortify our constancy. The main point is that we 
should make it the business of our lives to acquiesce in all sub- 
missiveness and humility to his good pleasure, for that supposes 
that he should have the peaceable enjoyment of us, that we should 
be captive to his obedience, and should even make to him a 
voluntary sacrifice, to die and live according as he shall be 
pleased to dispose of us. Moreover this afiliction is not so 
severe as to preclude you from many sources of consolation, 
with which to remain contented till his return. At the same 
time, Madame, I entreat you to be prepared to hold out against 
the alarms that may then be got up against you. For however 
excellent may be his inclination to dedicate himself to God, 
I fear whether he will be able to remain unshaken by the 
murmurs and threats of his uncle,' or the solicitation of his 
brother.^ Reflect also that it is your duty by your example 
to aid him in taking courage. On our part we will pray 
God to endow him with greater magnanimity than that of 
him who had begun so well, but who did not continue in 
the same manner.^ Nevertheless whatever difficulties we may 

* The Constable, Anne de Montmorency, a zealous Catholic and the avowed enemy 
of the Huguenots. A member of the trumvirate in 1561, he signalized himself by tho 
havoc he committed in the preaching assemblies of Paris, and so acquired the nick- 
name of Captain Brule-banc (Bench-burner.) He was made prisoner at the battle 
of Dreux in 1663, and was slain in 1567 at the battle of St. Denis. 

* Odet de Coligny, Cardinal of Chatillon. He had not yet pronounced in favour 
of the Reformation. 

3 Allusion to d'Andelot. See the letter, vol. iii., p. 450. Reprimanded by the minis- 
ters of Paris, d'Andelot acknowledged his fault and promised to amend it: — "Never- 
theless admonished by our brother Gaspar he did not long defend his cause, but sorrow- 
ing ingenuously confessed it, and said that ho would henceforth strive openly to 
worship God."— Franfois de Morel il Calvin, 27th December, 1668. (MSS. of Gotha.) 

1559.] PETER MARTYR. 31 

have to encounter, the promise given us that God will pro- 
vide for every thing and find out a remedy ought to suffice 
to prevent us fr'om yielding to temptation, and teach us to think 
more wisely, fixing our hearts upon that life which is in heaven, 
so that the world shall seem nothing to us, at least that we shall 
pass through it as pilgrims and strangers, having this maxim 
continually engraven on our memories — that we must be con- 
formed to our Lord Jesus in his afflictions, if we would be par- 
takers of his glory. 

Whereupon, Madame, having humbly commended me to your 
kind favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have you 
in his keeping, to increase in you the gifts of his Spirit, to sup- 
port you by his power, and grant you the grace to persevere in 
serving and honouring him to the end. 

[IV. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DXXX.— To Peter Martyr. 

Calvin's illness — Death of Lactanzio Ragnone — Troubles of the Italian Church. 

Geneva, 2nd March, 1559. 

Respecting myself, most accomplished sir and respected 
brother, I have nothing to write, except that the violence of my 
fever has abated. But my bodily strength as well as my vigour 
of mind has been so much shattered that I do not seem greatly 
relieved by this mitigation. Nay, I even feel a greater degree 
of lassitude than when I had to struggle against more violent 
attacks. The debility of my stomach is especially a cause of 
suffering to me, and it is increased by a catarrh which brings 
along with it its accompaniment a cough. For as vapours 
arising from indigestion trouble my brain, the evil reacts in its 
turn upon my lungs. To all this has been added for the last 
eight days a pain occasioned by hemorrhoids from which it is 
not possible to force the blood, as they are of that kind which 
are commonly termed blind. If any dependence is to be placed 
on the order of the seasons, the only remaining hope I have lies 

32 PETER MARTYR. [1559. 

in the near approach of spring, but the Lord in whose hand are 
life and death will direct the issue. 

Of the death of our most excellent brother Lactanzio,' 
others have no doubt written to you, and it is with reluctance 
that I awaken a sorrowful recollection. In him the Italian 
church has certainly sustained no common loss, but what is 
worse, I fear that God will avenge the ingratitude and arrogance 
of certain persons by the difficulty of finding a good and fitting 
pastor. You would hardly believe with what unworthy con- 
tempt he was treated, and how little account was made of those 
remarkable virtues which made him an object of well merited 
respect among all right minded persons ; and though I have 
sternly and openly denounced them with the punishment which 
they have deserved, yet I wish to have the benefit of your as- 
sistance and counsels lest the goodly structure which God has 
built up should fall to ruin. Another wound has been inflicted 
by one Sylvester, whose name probably is not unknown to you; 
for he lived in England, and is I believe a countryman of your 
own. Since he had given many indications that he had par- 
ticipated in the impiety of George, and as he had been rather 
roughly handled by Simon the catechist of the church who had 
exposed his perfidy, he turned round on Simon and accused him 
of a disgraceful and abominable crime. At last we discovered 
that boys had been suborned by him to bear false witness. He 
himself absconded. One of the witnesses in the case who had 
obstinately persisted in his false testimony was banished. Simon 
was acquitted in presence of the Italian congregation by our 
sentence and that of the elders, but only of what related to the 
infamous charge brought against him ; for he was censured for 
not having maintained the dignity becoming a minister, and also 
because he had positively denied all the things laid to his charge, 
some of which were nevertheless true, though not involving a 
grave accusation. How atrociously the Bernese have vented 
their rage and fulminated against the poor brethren, as it pains 
me to hear it, I shall not write to you concerning it. It is 

' Lactanzio Ragnone of Sienna, third minister of the Italian Church of Geneva. 
He succeeded, the 24th October, 1657, the Count Celso Martinengo, and died on the 
16th February, 1659. 

1559.] JEEOME ZANCHI. 33 

better that the whole matter with all its circumstances should be 
explained to you, which it will be I trust ere long. Other de- 
tails you will learn from our excellent brother, who in returning 
to his own country has resolved to take your town in his way 
for the purpose of visiting you. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir. May the Lord extend his 
protection to you and all your colleagues, govern you with his 
Spirit and enrich you with his blessings. Amen. — Yours, 

John ' Calvin. 

\^Lat. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupuy, 102.] 

DXXXI.— To Jerome Zanchi.i 

Call to the ministry in the Church of Geneva. 

Geneva, lith March, 1559. 

I suppose the tidings of the death of our most excellent 
brother have already reached you, and I am convinced they 
have produced the same feelings of regret as among us. As- 
suredly the Italian church has sustained no ordinary loss, 
towards which he strove to perform all the duties which can be 
desired of a faithful and active pastor. And now that you 
have been elected his successor by the suffrages of the people, 
see that you do not disappoint the wishes of your countrymen, 
and abandon an unhappy flock in its utmost need. I know and 
remember the numerous objections which you formerly repre- 
sented to me when at the request of all I tendered you a call. 
At that time I was unwilling to press you too earnestly, lest in 
forcing your inclinations I should consult neither your own 

'Jerome Zanchi of Bergamo, one of the most distinguished disciples of Peter 
Martyr, quitted Italy in 1543, in order to retire to Switzerland, and merited by his 
learned writings to be classed in the first rank among the theologians of the Italian 
emigration. Appointed in 1553 professor in the school of Theology at Strasbourg, 
from which the ultra Lutheran intolerance represented by the minister Marbach was 
to drive him ten years later, he beame successively professor at Chiavenna and at 
Heidelberg. Ho died in the latter city in 1570. Melchior Adam, Vitce Theoloyorum 
Exterorum, p. 77, and Gerdes, Specimen Italice Iteformatce, p. 351. 


34 JEROME ZANCHI. [1559. 

private interests nor the public advantages of the church. At 
present, in my judgment, the case is altogether diiferent. 

A flock bereaved of its pastor and unable to find elsewhere a 
person fitted for the discharge of the pastoral functions, makes 
an appeal to your fidelity. Unless they be speedily succoured, 
it is to be feared that a dispersion will take place, which would 
be to us matter of the deepest distress. Satan is watching 
his opportunity, and unless there be some extraordinary authority 
to restrain certain individuals, their perverseness will speedily 
break out. How fruitful your present labours are I have no 
means of knowing, except that with great sorrow I have heard 
that your auditory is thin and almost deserted. If this is the 
case, it is not the consideration of public utility which will make- 
you hesitate, and we are thoroughly convinced that you are 
swayed by no regard to private interest or your own ease and in- 
dulgence. So much more urgent are the motives and binding 
the obligation, which should decide you on taking such steps as 
may correspond to the high confidence reposed in you by your 

I am aware that you are not at liberty to abandon your pre- 
sent position till you be relieved from the tie which binds you 
to it, but the whole deliberation turns on this point, if your 
labours, where you now are, are sterile, and if here an abundant 
harvest awaits them, which is the most forcible tie, the one by 
which God draws you hither, or the one that detains you there ? 
When once you shall have yielded to this consideration, you will 
have no difficulty in obtaining your discharge, nor is the neces- 
sity of soliciting it imposed on you, for our senate will petition 
yours to grant you permission to establish yourself here. If 
then your intention be to bring succour to an afflicted church, 
remember the old proverb : He gives twice who gives speedily. 

Farewell, most distinguished sir and respected brother. May 
the Lord govern you in this deliberation by his Spirit, stand 
always by you, keep you in safety and bless you. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


DXXXII. — To Francis Boisnormand.' 

Regret for not having been able to have him called as Professor to the Academy of 


Geneva, 21th March, 1559. 

I do not wonder, most excellent brother, that the burden 
•which you sustain appears to you heavy and irksome, and that 
labours full of innumerable vexations and dangers, should so 
diversely distract your mind as to make you sigh for their ter- 
mination and a deliverance from them. I rather wonder how 
you have been able hitherto to cope with such severe trials, 
under which you must have sunk a hundred times unless, mira- 
culously supported from on high, you had not risen superior to 
what mere human strength can perform. But amid these com- 
mencements which promise something beyond vulgar expecta- 
tion, we dare not tear you away from your post. When seven 
or eight months ago our senate had decided to appoint profes- 
sors of three languages, the brethren were desirous to call you 
hither, provided a suitable successor could be readily found for 
you. While these things were under discussion among us, a 
report brought us respecting Emmanuel Tremelli broke off our 
purpose.^ For he himself indeed had written twice or thrice 
that nothing would be more consonant to his wishes than if he 
obtained permission to come and settle here. The Prince of 
Deux Fonts gave us a courteous reply, that he could not possi- 
bly part with Tremelli except to the great detriment of his 
academy. Meanwhile, as we wei'e still in suspense, took place 
the calamity of the church of Lausanne, the tidings of which 
it is probable have penetrated as far as you. Thus, then, on 
the present occasion was elected Anthony Chevallier, Tremelli' s 
son-in-law; at least, Chevallier's wife is a step-daughter of Tre- 
melli. This I wished briefly to inform you of, that you might 
not suppose that you had been slighted by us, who, as you see, 

' One of the chaplains of the King of Navarre, and versed in the knowledge of the 
Hebrew Language and Literature. 

' See the Letter to Emmanuel Tremelli, vol. iii., p. 464. 

36 M. DE LA GAUCHERIE. [1559. 

adopted a decision from a sudden and unexpected circumstance, 
for both religion and a sense of decorum urged us to provide 
for a pious brother who had been so cruelly ejected. And in 
that appointment both the authority of our academy and the 
expressed wishes of Chevallier were satisfied. But for this cir- 
cumstance the situation had been destined for you. Now that 
you have been deprived of this opportunity, weigh well whether 
it would be expedient that you should abandon the post in 
which God so advantageously employs your labours, unless the 
brethren who consider you as in some sort bound up with them 
should counsel you so to do. Neither is it just moreover, nor 
do we desire that matters should be exposed to peril to comply 
with our wishes. Thus it will be better for you on that matter 
to deliberate with the brethren, and if you listen to me you 
will do well if above all you comply with the advice of our 
friend Henry, ^ since he has always faithfully and actively 
assisted you, shared with you all his vows and connected him- 
self so closely with you, that it were wrong to have any sepa- 
rate counsels from him. Excuse the brevity of this letter, since 
the quartan ague still has its hold on me, debilitating me exces- 
sively, and other symptoms give me no little uneasiness. May 
the Lord always stand by you, govern and sustain you, and 
shield you and your wife with his safe protection. Many salu- 
tations I pray you to the brethren. 

[Laf. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DXXXIII.— To M. De La Gaucherie.^ 

DissentioDS at the Court of the King of Navarre — Spanish refugees — Salutations to 
the young Prince of Beam, afterwards Henry IV. 

Geneva, 16th May, 1559. 

When it was my intention to confide a letter for you to our 

' Henry de Barran, second minister of the King of Navarre. 

" Francis de la Gaucherie, preceptor of the young Prince of Beam, later Henry IV. 
Jane d'Albret, in a letter to Theodore Beza (6 December, 1567,) thus appreciates 
the excellent cares bestowed ou her son by La Gaucherie : — " My son, says she, 

1559.] M. DE LA GAUCHERIE. 37 

friend Francis' who was returning among you, I was prevented 
from putting my purpose in execution by a sharp and violent 
pain in my leg, which though it is now a little mitigated never- 
theless continues to give me great uneasiness. To this was 
added another cause of delay, inasmuch as this excellent man 
entreated us to give him a letter of recommendation. But 
while he kept waiting to no purpose for Coulonges, and thus 
spun out the time, I gave the letter which had been prepared 
for the king to be conveyed by a nobleman who is not unknown 
to you. His name is Givr^, You will perceive from the peru- 
sal of this letter, which the secretary, I trust, will readily com- 
municate to you, how faithfully, with what bland entreaties, 
with what serious exhortations, I have studied to appease the 
mind of the king, that he might not preclude an honest and 
sincere servant of Christ from an opportunity of spreading 
more widely the gospel. And though it is possible that the 
authority of Francis may have been a little too rigid, and his 
zeal in dispute excessive, when I consider however for what 
just reasons he opposed that licentious and perfidious monk, 
I think the vehemence which has brought such odium on him- 
self redounds to his honour, nor do I insist so much for the pur- 
pose of mitigating the resentment of the king, as of correcting 
his timidity. That the counsels of the courtiers had disposed 
the mind of our friend Henry^ also to too great weakness, I 
congratulate him as on a feeling that was only momentary in 
both. In turn we have exhorted Francis not to give any one 
offence by an excess of moroseness, and especially not to sepa- 
rate himself from faithful and prudent fellow-workers such as he 
has found in you. I return to the bearer of this letter. He is 
a Spaniard in whom we have found a genuine zeal for piety. 
When I was informed by your letter that the king of his own 

owes to him, and his colleagues, that root of living piety which by the grace of God 
has been so well implanted in his heart by good admonitions that at present (for which 
I praise our heavenly Father) it produces branches and fruits. I supplicate Him 
that he will grant him grace to continue to go on from well to better." These favour- 
able dispositions did not hold out against the corrupting influence of the court of the 
Valois. La Gaucherie died in 1566, and had for successor Morelli, (MSS. of Geneva, 
vol. 197 b.) 

' Francis Boisnormand. ''Henry de Barran. 

38 M. DE COLONGES. [1559. 

accord was disposed to grant an asylum to refugees from that 
nation, I did not hesitate to add my own recommendation.' 
Of you I ask nothing, but that according to your wonted cour- 
tesy you show him all those friendly offices which it will be 
possible for you to do without putting yourself to any incon- 
venience. Though this recommendation, in truth, seems also 
superfluous, because you will desire without being solicited to 
aid a person whom you recognize to be worthy of your affec- 
tion and that of all pious men. Only let him perceive that he 
has been thought worthy of my testimony in his favour. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir, and my highly esteemed 
brother. May the Lord always stand by you, support, protect, 
and continue to govern you by his Spirit. If you do not con- 
ceive that it will be unbecoming, will you do me the favour of 
offering my most auspicious wishes to the prince, your pupil, and 
presenting him with my best respects. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lot. Copy. — Library of Zurich, Simler, 95.] 


Preliminaries of the Synod of Paris — Sending of Several ministers. 

Geneva, 17th 3Iay, 1559. 
I wish we had been earlier informed of your next assembly.^ 
Perhaps, that we might not be altogether without our confession 
of faith, some measure not to be slighted might have presented 

' Vol. iii., p. 487. 

"The deputies of the principal Reformed churches of Prance were on the point 
of assembling to draw up a confession of faith, an ecclesiastical discipline, and Iny 
the foundations of a common organization which was destined to unite the congrega- 
tions that had hitherto been separated, and without any other connection than that 
of their common faith. It was on the 29th of May, 1559, and during the violence 
of the most fiery persecution that the deputies of eleven churches met at Paris, thus 
forming the first representative Assembly of French Protestantism. Beza, Hxist. 
EccL, vol. i., p. 172. It appears that some diflferences had manifested themselves be- 
tween the ministers of Paris and those of Geneva respecting the expediency of this 
meeting and of the new confession of faith that was to spring from it. 

1559.] M. DE COLONGES. 39 

itself to ouv minds. But as the day approaches, it is scarcely 
to be hoped that a letter dispatched with whatever speed would 
arrive at its destination in time ; we shall therefore pray God 
that governing your minds he may demonstrate that his Holy 
Spirit has presided over the whole transaction. If so obstinate 
a zeal for promulgating a confession of faith stimulates certain 
persons, we call men and angels to witness that this ardour has 
not very much displeased us. The rashness of the brethren of 
Tours, who had blown their trumpet so unsuccessfully, will serve 
as a proof that they should not advance too eagerly. That 
there should be so much anxious bustle and trepidation among 
us is to me matter of deep regret. So much the more it be- 
hoves you to set about the task to which the prophet exhorts 
you ; namely, to confirm the weak hands and strengthen the 
feeble knees. If they are so lukewarm, and if they forsake 
the assembling of themselves together, I fear that we shall 
send you fresh assistance to no purpose. Respecting Vesener 
we have come to another decision. Arnold is substituted in his 
place, a man well versed in polite letters ; — though Peter Gilbert 
has not the advantages of a liberal education, yet he possesses 
no common degree of knowledge in solid theology to which add 
acuteness and a sound judgment. Both of them are right- 
minded men and inflamed with zeal for duly establishing the 
church. When they shall have heard from you your plans, and 
learned as it were their apprenticeship, let me know in a friendly 
way your intentions respecting your return or your longer stay. 
You will see better what may be expedient in the present cir- 
cumstances. Only fail not to apprise me that due respect has 
been shown you as a private individual, and that your public 
authority has had the pre-eminence assigned it which it de- 
serves. You will hear the same injunction from Des Gallars, 
whose arrival, if it give you pleasure, is disagreeable to our 
society, and his absence inconvenient for his brethren at the 
present moment. For I cannot discharge the slightest part of 
my ministerial functions, and have but very slender hopes of 
being able to do so in the future. So then you will press him 
to return here as soon as possible. I thank you for having 
written back to me so distinct, so detailed, and yet at the same 

40 hotmajst. [1559. 

time so succinct an account. The pain in my limb prevents 
me from imitating your example, and perhaps the narrative of 
our transactions will afford you more pleasure when delivered 
to you orally. Farewell, most excellent brother, worthy and 
faithful servant of Christ. Many salutations to your fellow pas- 
tors. May the Lord direct, protect, sustain, and bless you all. 

[Laf. Orig. Min. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

Quarrels of Hotman with Francis Baudouin. 

Geneva, 21th May, 1559. 

I would have had you laugh at the excessive warmth of your 
anger, that you might not yourself stir up laughter in some, and 
sorrow in others. But from your letter I conclude that you are 
not one whit more appeased to-day than you were in the first 
transports of your passion. I wish indeed that you would learn 
either to laugh at or despise those vexations which give you 
such immoderate torment, lest the violence of your temper, to 
whose sallies you unconsciously give way, should hurt your repu- 
tation among many grave and excellent men. I do not speak 
of that sluggish fellow, whose lukewarmness and torpor you, 
however, supported with moderation, till in a private affair of 
yours, in which you wished to be all fire, he conducted himself 
rather coldly. 

But others, believe me, unless you speedily check your irasci- 
bility, will pass a silent judgment on your character, which will 
deservedly occasion you more sorrow than the numberless trifles 

' The Academies on the banks of the Rhine were trouhled by the violent quarrels 
of Baudouin and Hotman. For a short time united at Strasbourg these two eminent 
jurisconsults, of whom the former was celebrated for the versatility of his religious 
opinions, the second for the fervour and asperity of his zeal, had commenced a con- 
troversy, and the departure of Baudouin for Heidelberg had not reconciled the two 
rivals. Though he had to complain of the latter with whom he afterwards engaged 
in a bitter controversy, Calvin deplored these polemical excesses from which he was 
not always himself exempt. See Hotomanni Epistolce, and the Book of M. Dareste, 
Essai snr Francois Hotnan, pp. 3, 4. 

1559.] HOTMAN. 41 

about whicli you are too anxiously striving. For if from polite- 
ness and kindly feelings they may forgive you, they do not for 
that approve of the faults of which I now more freely remind you. 
I grant that Baudouin by his evil proceedings is bringing ruin 
on himself, provided you do not attack so keenly what is rather 
to be deplored. 

For what means that very anxious investigation respecting 
the salaries ? Why does the mention of a successor so exaspe- 
rate you? For what matters it if he desire that place to be 
occupied by another than you, before he be forced to ask for 
his discharge, in order that he may have it in his power to de- 
part with less infamy and odium? Certainly till the effer- 
vescence of your bile subside, it will often exhaust its ebullitions 
about nothing. ^ Remember these counsels are given you by a 
man, who, though he is conscious of possessing a more vehement 
temper than he could wish, nevertheless is daily supporting, 
without any outbreaks of passion, attacks, in comparison of 
which your strife with Baudouin is mere child's play. ' 

Poller some eight or ten days after he arrived here, being re- 
minded by your messenger, paid me a visit. Having strictly 
questioned him about those mysteries of which you sent me an 
account, I could scarcely get a word out of him.^ As I had re- 
peatedly requested you to write back to me some positive in- 
formation respecting the grandson of Pomerai, I am surprised 
that you have hitherto maintained silence, for I do not know 
what you mean by saying that you think your solicitude and 
that of M. Sturm. was testified by a certain letter. I have 
recovered from my tertian ague, but I can scarcely yet support 
myself on my legs. To-day, however, I preached sitting. By 
degrees I shall gain strength. 

Farewell, distinguished sir and honoured brother.^ Salute 
affectionately your wife, your little boy, and our friends. May 
the Lord protect, govern, and bless you all. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. 3Iinute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

' Allusion to some secret negociations which had for object to give for chief of the 
French Reformation the King of Navarre. See the letter of Calvin to Sturm, p. 61. 

' To the date of the letter, Calvin here added, that it was written the dny before 
the departure of the messenger, who was to be the bearer of it. 



DXXXVI. — To THE Marquise de Rothelin.' 

Sends one of his writings to the young Duke de Longueville. Exhortations to the 

Duke's mother. 

Geneva, 26th May, 1559. 

Madame: — Being informed that my first letters had been 
well received by Monseigneur your son, and that if I continued 
to write to him I might further his progress in the good path, 
I should not have so long delayed the fulfilment of this task, 
had I not been prevented during the greater part of the time 
by severe personal sufferings. Nor would even this circumstance 
have prevented me, had I not reflected that he enjoys instructions 
by word of mouth, from those who are around him much more 
ample than any I could send him by letters. These then I en- 
treat him to listen to with docility. 

In respect of the book which I had forwarded to him, I find 
that the person to whom I entrusted it made a mistake when he 
informed me that the young prince was well versed in Latin. 
Now I had selected a lesson which was very suitable for him, 
because the prophet Amos lays open and rebukes the vices of 
the court without sparing any. For he sets about his task with 
all the rustic plainness of a cowherd or shepherd, which was 
indeed his profession when he was called to the ofiice of public 
teaching. I should have been well pleased then that the said 
seigneur could have contemplated there, as in a mirror, how he 
ought to guard against all the corruptions in vogue, and have 
been reminded how they fail not to be condemned of God, how- 
ever much the world wallows in them and applauds them. On 
your own part, Madame, if they still continue to have spies set 
round you and threaten you from afar, in order to fill you with 
fears, never, I entreat you, be weary of God's service, but 

' Encouraged by the Marquise de Rothelin and the ministers of the Church of 
Paris, Calvin kept up a correspondence with the young Duke de Longueville to whom 
he had just addressed his commentary on the lesser prophets : Joannia Calvini prce- 
lectiones in duodecim prophetas quoa vacant minorea, Geneva, 1559. This commentary 
was dedicated to the King of Sweden. 


rather inure yourself by the struggles which you have already 
maintained to such perseverance that Xjod may be glorified by 
you in the end. And I doubt not but you faithfully labour to 
that end, that even the rejoicings of these days have been to 
you so much the more vexatious that they always bring with 
them some consequences to displease and afflict the children of 
God.' And in truth Paul takes it for granted that the faithful 
will take no interest in the pleasures, delights, and dissolute re- 
vellings of the world, so as to find a charm therein, when he re- 
doubles his exhortations to them to rejoice in the Lord. 

Though in truth unbelievers have no idea what true joy is, 
since they do not possess a peaceable conscience towards God, 
nor can truly enjoy the goods which he has showered down upon 
them, however abundantly. For this very reason we have 
better motives for supporting with patience the vexations which 
may annoy us, inasmuch as they cannot prevent us from con- 
tinually savouring the goodness of our God and Father and the 
love he bears towards us, till we be fully satisfied with them in 
the place of our everlasting rest. 

Madame, having commended myself most humbly to your in- 
dulgent favour, I will supplicate the Father of mercies to have 
you always in his keeping and guidance, to support and fortify 
you by the power of his Spirit, and to increase in you every 
good and prosperity. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

' While the Parliaments were redoubling their rigour against the Reformers, 
magnificent fetes were being prepared for the celebration of two marriages, that of 
Elisabeth, the king's daughter, with Philip II., and that of Margaret of France with 
Emmanuel Philibert. 



He exhorts him to abstain from all participation in the idolatries and disorders of the 


Geneva, 26^7; May, 1559. 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — I thank our merciful Father, that you have 
received my letters with a spirit of humility, and that you take 
pleasure in the admonitions which they contain. For I consider 
it as highly important that my labours in your behalf have been 
crowned with success, because of the profit which I hope you 
will reap from them, for the salvation of your soul, and also be- 
cause of the advantages which will accrue from them to the 
church of God ; and especially for the advancement of the reign of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. It is that which gives me boldness to 
write to you repeatedly, as I believe that you are convinced 
of the need you stand in of being continually stirred up, con- 
sidering the seductions that surround you, by which you might 
easily be turned aside from the straight path, were you not 
fortified from on high to resist them. Now not only you have 
many thorns to prevent the knowledge of the gospel of our Lord 
Jesus Christ from fructifying in you, but also many agents of 
Satan who will heartily strive to tear it from your heart. 
Wherefore, monseigneur, you ought the more carefully to seek 
for remedies to preserve you in the fear of God and the purity 
of his service. On my part I shall spare no pains, as far as I 
shall have it in my power, to aid you in that task. For one 
cannot strive too much to stay such a deluge of corruption as 
that which we now witness in the world. You have also to con- 

• Leonor d'Orleans, Dnke de Longueville, and Count de Neuchatel. Educated by 
his mother in the Reformed faith, this young seigneur took pleasure in the writings 
and exhortations of Calvin. In 1562 he made a journey to Geneva of which we read 
an account in the registers of the Council : — " The Duke de Longueville arrived at 
Geneva accompanied by a number of noblemen. He was complimented on the part 
of the Council by the Syndic Francis Roset, Baudichon, Chevalier, and Bernard, ac- 
companied by M. Calvin, who made a speech. The said Duke de Longueville was 
present to-day at the sermon, to which he listened with great attention — Our Lord 
causes him to advance in the Reformation of his holy gospel." 29th January, 1562. 


sider your own age, the position in which you are placed, and 
the countless temptations which might well shake the resolution 
of the most determined. 

I will not allege to you the ordinary train of the court. I 
shall only adduce one particular instance of the dazzling pomp 
accompanying the marriages a few days ago, or which it is pos- 
sible is not yet all over.' I am not so austere as to condemn 
the fetes of princes, nor the rejoicings with which they celebrate 
their nuptials. But I am convinced, monseigneur, that when 
you enter into reflection with yourself, having recalled your 
thoughts from the pomp, vanities, and excesses by which they 
may have been led astray for a moment, you will pronounce 
these things a gulf of ruin and disorder. I only point out to 
you in a small and trifling matter how necessary it is for you, 
amid so many idolatries, that you should be fortified in perse- 
verance by God, and that on your own part you should strive 
to keep yourself as it were shut up under his direction, applying 
your studies to advance more and more in the knowledge of his 
holy word, and praying him to increase in you the gifts of his 
Spirit, in order that your faith may remain victorious even to 
the end. 

I durst not venture, monseigneur, to exhort you with so much 
frankness, were you of the number of those who are ashamed of 
submitting to God, on account of their earthly rank and dignity, 
and who wish to be exempted from all correction and admoni- 
tion. As I am confident that all the illusions of the world will 
never dazzle your eyes to such a degree, as that you shall not 
be prepared to ofier up to the Son of God, our sovereign King, 
the homage of your soul and of your body, it is for this reason 
that I do not hesitate to confirm you more and more in this 
good resolution. But as I fear to fatigue you by too long 
letters, 1 will content myself with entreating you to read daily 
the holy instructions which will edify you in all good and virtue, 
in order that the example of your life may touch and persuade 
many of those poor ignorant creatures that are not incorrigible, 
and stop the mouth of the obstinate enemies of the truth of 

' See the preceding letter, p. 43, note 1. 

46 WILLIAM CECIL. [1559. 

Monseigneur, having humbly commended me to your in- 
dulgent favour, I entreat our heavenly Father to have you in 
his protection, to govern you by his Spirit in all prudence and 
integrity, and cause you to prosper in all good. 
[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DXXXVIII.— To William Cecil.^ 

He exculpates himself to this minister of the imputations brought against him on 

account of a writing of Knox's, 

Geneva, May, 1559. 

The messenger to whom I had given my commentaries on 
Isaiah to be offered to the queen, brought me back word, that 
my homage was rather distasteful to her majesty, because she 
had been offended with me on account of certain writings that 
had been published in this city. He also repeated to me, most 
illustrious sir, the substance of a conversation he had with you, 
in which you appeared more harsh towards me than your usual 
urbanity led me to suppose, especially when from my letter you 
were informed how much I promised myself from your affection 
towards me. Now though just causes prevent me from excul- 
pating myself by a laboured refutation, lest, however, I should 
seem by ray silence to confess that to a certain extent my con- 

' Letter without a date — written no doubt in May, 1559, as seems to be indicated 
by Cecil's answer to Calvin of the 22nd June following. Public opinion had been 
warmly excited by Knox's pamphlet against the government of women. See vol. iii. 
pp. 37, 38. Directed against Queen Mary, this book was appealed to by ardent 
sectaries against the authority of Elizabeth herself, and Calvin's name was associated 
with that of Knox, in the controversies to which the writing gave rise. The Reformer 
judged it necessary then to offer to Cecil explanations indirectly addressed to the 
queen herself. Cecil showed himself satisfied with them, if we may judge by his an- 
swer to Calvin : " In what concerns you, I know most certainly that, for man}' reasons, 
all writings of this kind are displeasing to you. And if some of our countrymen af- 
flicted with this mania have afiSrmed that you had answered, 'though in the ordinary 
course of things, as we say, and in virtue of the Divine word the right of governing 
is forbidden to a woman, nevertheless there are extraordinary occasions in which it 
maybe permitted,' this distinction, I venture to affirm, you by no means approve of." 
Queen Elizabeth's secretary signed his letter to Calvin, "Yours most affectionately, 
and with the warmest zeal for the evangelical profession. W. C." 

1559.] WILLIAM CECIL. 47 

science blames me, I have thought proper to put you in pos- 
session of the main facts of the case. 

Two years ago, John Knox in a private conversation, asked 
my opinion respecting female government. I frankly answered 
that because it was a deviation from the primitive and established 
order of nature, it ought to be held as a judgment on man for 
his dereliction of his rights just like slavery — that nevertheless 
certain women had sometimes been so gifted that the singular 
blessing of God was conspicuous in them, and made it manifest 
that they had been raised up by the providence of God, either 
because he willed by such examples to condemn the supineness 
of men, or thus show more distinctly his own glory. I here in- 
stanced Huldah and Deborah. I added to the same effect that 
God promised by the mouth of Isaiah that queens should be the 
nursing mothers of the church, which clearly distinguished such 
persons from private women. Finally I added in conclusion, 
that since by custom, common consent, and long established 
usage, it had been admitted that kingdoms and principalities 
might be by hereditary right transmitted to women, it did not 
seem proper to me that this question should be mooted, not only 
because the thing was odious in itself, but because in my 
judgment it is not permitted to unsettle governments that have 
been set up by the peculiar providence of God. Of the book I 
had not the slightest suspicion, and it had been published a 
whole vear before I was aware of its existence. 

Informed of the fact by some persons, I testified in the most 
unequivocal manner that the public was not to be familiarized 
with paradoxes of that kind. But because the remedy did not 
depend on me, I conceived that an evil which could not be re- 
dressed had better be hushed up than publicly canvassed. Ask 
of your father-in-law, when he reminded me of it through Beza, 
what answer I made. Mary being then still alive, I could not 
be suspected of an intention to flatter. Of the contents of the 
work I am ignorant ; but that the tenor of the discourse I had 
with Knox is such as I have described it, he himself will con- 
fess. But though I was affected by the complaints of pious 
individuals, yet as I had not been informed in time, lest greater 

48 WILLIAM CECIL. [1559. 

disturbances should arise out of it, I did not venture to make 
any loud outcry. 

If my slackness offends any one, I think I had reason to fear, 
if the affair had been brought to a trial, that for the incon- 
siderate vanity of one man, an unfortunate crowd of exiles 
would be driven not only from this city, but from almost every 
part of the world, especially as the evil now admitted of no 
other remedy than the exercise of indulgence. Besides that I 
have been loaded with undeserved blame, for that very reason I 
still less merited to have my book rejected, as if a pretext had 
been sought to throw the follies of others upon me. Your queen, 
if the work did not please her, might with one word have re- 
fused to accept my preferred courtesy. That would have been 
more straight-forward, and assuredly it would have been more 
agreeable to me than, besides the disgrace of a repulse, to be 
charged at the same time with false accusations. I shall never- 
theless always cherish the most profound respect for your most 
excellent queen; and you too, renowned sir, I shall not cease 
to love and honour on account of your extraordinary talents 
and other virtues, though I have found you less friendly than I 
had expected, and though you may not in future reciprocate my 
feelings of affection. I am unwilling, however, to augur this 
last result. 


Farewell, most beloved and honoured sir. May the Lord 
always stand by you, govern and protect you, and enrich you 
with his gifts. 

P. S. Because I am in doubt whether you received my 
former letter, I have thought proper to send you a copy of it. 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. orig. autogr. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


DXXXIX. — To THE Brethren of France.' 

Perseverance in the faith — Patience in persecution — Trust in God, who will sooner 
or later take in hand the cause of his innocent followers. 

Geneva, June, 1559. 

Dearly beloved and honoured brethren, inasmuch as you are 
all in general afflicted, and as the storm has burst out with such 
violence, that there is no place that has not felt its ravages ; as 
moreover we are not informed of your individual necessities, we 
have thought that we could not do better than address to you a 
common letter to exhort you, in the name of God, whatever 
alarms Satan may create, not to faint, or by withdrawing from 
the combat to deprive yourselves of the fruit of the victory 
which has been promised and coniBrmed to you. It is most 
certain that if God did not give freer reins to Satan and his 
agents, they could not thus molest you. And for that reason 
you should come to this conclusion, that if your enemies plot 
your ruin it is becau se God on his part has g ranted them such 
a per mission in prdpr to p ro ve your faith , haying means without 
numbe r at his disposal to che ck all their fury when he shall 

' The long struggle hetween Spain and France had procured a momentary truce to 
the Reformed Churches. The peace of Cateau-Cambresis increased their perils by 
reconciling the two monarchs in a common design, the extermination of heresy. 
Irritated by the resistance of several of the counsellors of the Parliament of Paris, 
and the courageous words of Anne Dubourg, Henry II. gave the signal for new exe- 
cutions. "Whereupon, says Beza, the king having left Paris, (June, 1569,) came to 
Escouen, the seat of the constable, from which place he sent letters patent to the 
judges of the provinces, enjoining that all the Lutherans should be destroyed; de- 
claring that heretofore he had been prevented by his wars, and that he perceived that 
the number of the said Lutherans had greatly increased during those troubles, but 
now that peace having been concluded between him and Philip, King of Spain, he 
was quite determined to employ his whole time in exterminating them, provided that 
on their side they were not slack. * * * For if they acted otherwise, and spared 
them as he had heard that some of them had formerly done, to them the blame should 
be imputed, and they should be made an example to others. These letters were well 
calculated to stir up great troubles if God had not provided for it. Nevertlieloss, 
the churches sought consolation in the promises of God, continuing in prayer and 
persuading themselves that God would finally hold out a helping hand to his church ; 
in which confidence the foreign churches greatly confirmed them, encouraging them 
to remain unshaken in their vocation." — Hist. Eccl., vol. i., pp. 194, 195, and Uiist. dea 
Martyrs, p. 462. 



have glorified his name by your constancy. Now when you are 
ca lled to this trial aTT that remains for you to do is to prepare 
yourselves for the confession of the faith which God requires, 
as a sacrifice which is well-pleasing to him, however much the 
world despise and scoff at our simplicity. And if it is neces- 
sary that you should be sacrificed in order to seal and ratify 
your testimony, he thus wills you to take courage to surmount 
all the temptations which might turn you aside from making it. 
For it is but reasonable that we should sufi"er ourselves to be 
governed by the hand of so good a Father, though it may seem 
to us heavy and unfeeling. If we were exposed to be forsaken 
of him, then might we feel consternation. But since He who 
has taken us under his protection has himself willed to try us 
by all the combats into which we shall be brought, it is for us 
to subdue our affections, nor to think strange the condition to 
which we are called. We are perfectly aware what terrors you 
shall have to endure, when we reflect that you are not armed 
with insensibility, but feeling on the contrary much repugnance 
and many conflicts in your flesh. But notwithstanding all that, 
assuredly God must prevail. It was well said of the death of 
Peter, that he should be led by a way which he did not choose. 
So he subdued the natural man, so as to be conducted at God's 
good pleasure, that is, with a hearty good will. Therefore, 
following his example, wage a valiant warfare against your in- 
firmities in order to remain victorious over Satan and all your 

Great are their rage and cruelty against the poor church, 
their threats terrible, and the preparations are such that we 
might well deem that all must be ruined. So far, however, 
is that from being the case, that our persecutions are by no 
means so intense as those which our fathers endured. Not that 
the devil and his children are less hardened and bent upon 
doing evil than ever, but because God bearing with our weak- 
ness keeps them enchained like so many wild beasts. For it is 
certain that if hitherto he had not interposed his hand, we should 
have been destroyed a thousand times, and if he did not still 
continue secretly to watch over us, we should be speedily swal- 
lowed up. Knowing then by experience the pity and compas- 


sion that God feels for us, so much the more should we, with a 
feeling of security, repose on his protection, trusting that he will 
prove how dear our lives are to him. Meanwhile we must de- 
spise and count them as nothing when we are called to employ 
them in his service, and among other things maintain his holy 
•word, in which he desires his glory to shine forth. It is thus, 
according to the saying of our divine Master, that we shall pos- 
sess our souls in patience, because he will be the faithful guar- 
dian of them. And, moreover, if with our free-will we lose 
this frail and perishable condition, we shall recover it far better 
in the heavenly glory. And this is the principal lesson which 
the holy Scripture requires you now to meditate upon when it 
calls us pilgrims in this world ; namely, that nothing should 
turn us aside from that enduring inheritance to which we can- 
not aspire with well-grounded confidence, as we are bound to 
do, unless we are prepared to quit this earthly habitation when- 
soever it shall please God to summon us away. 

We shall not accumulate here all the testimonies that might 
contribute to fortify your patience, for we should never have 
done, since the whole Scripture is filled with them. "We shall 
not deduce either how we. must be partakers of the death of 
the son of God our chief, if we are to rise up again with him ; 
that we must be conformed to his image, and supply what is 
wanting in his sufierings, in order to share in the repose which 
he has promised to us. This should be a doctrine common to 
all of us, that as he entered into his glory hy many afflictions, 
so we are bound to follow the same course. For the present, it 
is sufficient to fix in our memories that all the oppressions which 
fall out against the church are for the trial of the faith of the 
elect according as God shall be pleased to ordain in the fitting 
time. Now since Jesus Christ did not spare his own blood in 
order to confirm the truth of the gospel wherein lies our salva- 
tion, it is but just that we should not refuse to make him our 
example, especially as we are assured that whatever our ene- 
mies devise against us shall all be converted to our salvation. 
And that you may take more heart, doubt not, when the evil 
ones shall have exhausted all their cruelty, that there will be 
one drop of blood that will not fructify so as to increase the 


number of the believers. If it does not seem to you at first 
sight that the constancy of those "who have endured trials brings 
forth fruit, do not for all that cease to acquit yourselves of your 
duty, and leave to God the advantages that will accrue from 
your life or death for the edification of his church ; for from 
them he knows well how to bring forth fruits in his own time 
and way. And the more the wicked strive to exterminate the 
memory of his name from the earth, the more efficacy will be 
bestow on our blood to cause that memory to flourish more and 
more. And in very deed we cannot fail to see that God in- 
tends to exalt his name at the present moment and advance the 
reign of Jesus Christ. Only let us suffer the darkness of the 
present eclipse to pass over, waiting until God produce his light 
to rejoice us, though indeed we are never deprived of it in the 
midst of our afilictions, if we seek for it in his word in which it 
is offered to us and where it never ceases to shine. 

There, then, it behoves you to turn your eyes during these 
great troubles, and to rejoice that he has esteemed you worthy 
of suffering afiliction for his word rather than of chastisement 
for your sins, which we should all deserve did he not support us 
by his grace. And if he promises to console poor sinners who 
received patiently correction from his hand, be confident that 
the aid and comfort of his Holy Spirit will not fail you, when 
reposing your trust on him you shall accept the condition to 
which he has subjected his children. And wait not till the 
great ones of this world point out to you the way, who most 
frequently corrupt their brethren and cause them to backslide 
rather than further their progress. What is more, let not each 
man look on his fellow to say like Peter : And this man, what 
of Mm? but let each man follow as he shall be called, seeing 
that each must give an account for himself. Look rather at the 
invincible courage of so many martyrs who have been set be- 
fore us as an example, and take heart to join yourselves to so 
goodly a company ; which for this reason the Apostle compares 
to an immense and thick cloud, as if he said their numbers are 
so vast as in a manner to blind our eyes. What is more, with- 
out going further, the examples which God every day offers us 
being duly considered, as they deserve, should be sufficient to 


fortify us against the stumbling blocks thrown in our way by 
the baseness of many. 

Moreover, according as each is placed in a higher station, let 
him reflect that he is so much the more bound to take the lead, 
and on no occasion to yield to dissimulation. Let not the noble 
and rich and people of rank think that they are privileged, 
but on the contrary let them acknowledge that God has chosen 
them, to be more highly glorified in them. When you shall 
march with such simplicity, invoking God to look upon you with 
compassion, it is certain that you will thus feel more relief than 
if each thought of escaping by subterfuges. We do not mean 
to say that you should with your eyes open, or without discre- 
tion, expose yourselves to the jaws of the wolf; only beware of 
"withdrawing from the flock of our Lord Jesus Christ in order to 
avoid the cross, and fear more than all the deaths in the world 
the dispersion of the church. Otherwise what excuse will you 
be able to plead when our Lord Jesus Christ, his Father, and 
all the angels of paradise shall bring against you this reproach, 
that having made a profession of confessing God in life and in 
death, you have betrayed the faith which you had pledged ? 
W^hat a shame it will be, if after having separated yourselves 
from the defilement and pollutions of Papal idolatry, we should 
return to wallow a second time therein, and become doubly abo- 
minable in the sight of God ! In one word, if all our felicity 
consists in being a disciple of our Lord Jesus, knowing that he 
will disavow and denounce all those who do not confess him be- 
fore the ungodly, steel your hearts to endure reproaches as well 
as persecutions, and if you desire to have God for your strong- 
hold, sanctify him, in despising the fears of the unbelieving, as 
we are exhorted to do by St. Peter. 

Be persuaded also that the pride of these lions and dragons, 
and the rage with which they foam, will inflame so much the 
more the wrath of God, and hasten the execution of his ven- 
geance. Finally, do not take it to heart to be despitefidly 
treated by such mad men, since your names are written in the 
Book of Life, and God approves of you, not only as his servants, 
but also as his children and heirs of his glory, members of his 
only Son Jesus Christ, and companions of angels. Nevertheless 


let it suffice you to oppose to their fury, prayers and tears, 
which God will not permit to fall to the ground, but which he 
will preserve in his phials, as is said in the Psalm. 

We have here briefly touched on what should be your conduct 
during this fiery trial. The main point is that each of you 
should diligently exercise himself in the reading of the word, 
and that you mark and retain the exhortations that are ad- 
dressed to you by the mouth of God, to serve him with all per- 
severance, never wearying, whatever befall you. 

If we could make manifest to you the care and compassion 
which actuate us for you, the desire and the good-will are not 
wanting to us for that purpose, just as we are convinced that 
the dangers which are impending over ourselves affect and stir 
you up to recommend us to the keeping of God, whom we en- 
treat that of his infinite goodness he would make you feel that 
he is a protector both of the body and the soul ; that he would 
govern you by his Holy Spirit, that he would support you by 
his power, that he would triumph in your persons, by scattering 
all the counsels, enterprises, and strength of his enemies, and 
your own. 

[Ft. Histoire des Martyrs, Lib. vii., p. 462.] 

DXL. — To THE Church of Paris.' 

Inutility of the steps taken in favour of the French Protestants — The helplessness 

of men — Fidelity of God. 

Geneva, 29th June, 1559. 

Dearly beloved seigneurs and brethren, if we have delayed to 
answer you longer than you could have wished, it has also been 

' At the top : — To the Brethren of the Church of Paumiers. An inexact title 
arising from the blunder of a copyist. It is — To the Brethren of the Church of Paris. 

The Church of Pamiers did not yet exist at the date of this letter, (29 June, 1659.) 
It could hardly be said to exist two years afterwards, (August, 1561,) according to 
the positive testimony of Beza. — Hist. EccL, vol. i., p. 866. Subjects of the King 
of Navarre, the Protestants of Pamiers had not moreover to suffer from the increased 
rigour which signalized the last days of the reign of Henry II. Now it is a per- 
secuted church which Calvin addresses, and his anticipations as well as his coun- 


to our own great regret. But having once let slip tlie opportunity 
of writing to you by a messenger who was repairing to your 
city, up to this moment we had not been able to find another. 
Now I have no need to protest to you that if you are in per- 
plexity and anguish for the dangers that are impending over 
you, we also feel our share of them ; for we are convinced 
that your opinion of us is such that you cannot suppose us so 
destitute of humanity as to forget those with whom we are con- 
nected by fraternal ties through the faith, those too who are 
doing battle for the cause of our salvation ; but the evil afflicts 
us so much the more keenly that we are destitute of all means 
of relieving you, and have nothing left us to do but groan with 
compassion. Be persuaded that we have employed all the 
human means in our power to try to appease the rage of the 
enemy either wholly or in part, and even at the present mo- 
ment we would spare nothing were there any hope that we could 
be of service to you. But he whom they entreated^ has so 
arrogantly rejected the request of the princes several times 
reiterated, that it seems that God would thereby teach us to 
make himself our whole stay, both in praying him to protect us, 
and in devoting ourselves entirely to his obedience whether for 
life or for death. On our part, we do not know how soon the 
blow may light on ourselves. One thing is certain, we are 
menaced more than all others.^ But you who are already ex- 
posed as a prey to the spoiler, knowing that God is the protec- 
tor of his followers, commit your ways to him, and if, in the 
meantime, it be his pleasure that you should suffer for his name, 
prepare yourselves for that sacrifice, for we shall never be dis- 
posed to follow the gospel till we lay our account with being 
patient in persecutions. If you are weak, God will know well 
how to support you ; but if he bring you to the trial, you must 

sels sufBciently designate the Church of Paris, the first exposed to the attaclis 
of persecution. The trial of the most illustrious of its members was already begun, 
the prisons were replenished with captives doomed to death, while the court inaugu- 
rated by magnificent fetes the destruction of heresy. 

' King Henry II., struck, the day after the Reformer wrote this letter, by the lance 
of Montgomery. 

* Henry II. had uttered terrible threats against Geneva, and Pope Paul IV. preached 
a crusade against the seat of heresy. — Hist, de la confederation Suisse, vol. xii., p. 24. 

56 THE COUNT d'erbach. [1559. 

put in practice the doctrine of possessing your lives in patience. 
For tliis purpose you must raise your eyes to heaven, for other- 
■wise it would be too difficult to quit the world, and there is no- 
thing that can fortify us in all combats but the firm persuasion 
that we cannot be frustrated of this inheritance. Place before 
your eyes then our Chief, the Son of God, who has risen from 
the dead that we should feel no evil in dying with him in order 
to be partakers of his heavenly glory. Wherefore, dearly be- 
loved brethren, knowing on what condition we are called, con- 
tinue to advance, confirming yourselves more and more in the 
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, which will be victorious over 
the whole world, and in withdrawing yourselves from idolatry, 
remain unmoved and peaceable, endeavouring by your good 
and holy life to cover with confusion all the agents of Satan. 

Whereupon, having commended ourselves to your fervent 
prayers, we will also beseech our heavenly Father to condu 
you by his Holy Spirit, in order that his holy name ma- 
glorified in you even to the end. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DXLI.— To THE Count D'Erbach.^ 

He offers him Christian congratulations, and consults him about a project of dedicat- 
ing to the Elector Palatine the Book of the Institution. 

Geneta, 1st July, 1559. 

W^hen the preceding year Theodore de Beza and John Bud^, 
on their return from a visit to you, most noble and illustrious 

' Eberard, Count of Erbach and the brother-in-law of the Elector Palatine, early dis- 
played, as well as his brothers, the warmest attachment to the Reformed faith. See 
the eulogy of this seigneur in a letter of the learned Olympia Morata from her re- 
treat at Heidelberg, Opera, pp. 216, 217. Gifted with an elevation of mind very rare 
at this period. Count d'Erbach deplored the sacramentarian disorders and ardently 
desired the conciliation of the churches on the grounds of faith and charity. " What 
is no less to be deplored is that under the splendid and fruitful light of the gospel 
there should still be found so much darkness, so great a discrepancy of opinions, that 
those who ought to be members of one head and one body, persecute one another 
with reproaches and revilings not less than the members of Antichrist are wont to do." 
AVithout disapproving of the project of dedicating to the Elector, Calvin's Christian 

1559.] THE COUNT d'erbach. 57 

seigneur, among your other rare virtues liiglily extolled your 
courtesy ; they could not hold their tongues, at the same time, 
respecting your affection towards me, and as they were fully 
persuaded that should I write to you, my letter would be very 
acceptable, they warmly pressed me to acquit myself of this 
duty. As, however, I was already of my own accord suffi- 
ciently disposed to undertake this task, not so much out of 
deference for them as for the sake of testifying my profound 
respect for you, I know not what cause has hitherto occasioned 
my delay or my sluggishness, so that laying aside all ideas of 
excusing myself I am forced to entreat your pardon for my 
dilatoriness. But now a new opportunity having most provi- 
dentially presented itself, I have mustered up courage, most 
excellent seigneur, not only to congratulate you on your acces- 
sion of honour and dignity, but also to express to you the un- 
feigned pleasure which I have lately conceived therefrom. For 
I. had heard long ago from trustworthy witnesses how disin- 
teresteci your integrity and constancy were, in the defence of the 
sound and pure doctrine, and I again hear what all pious men 
in your country expect from you. Though then I wish and 
pray for all prosperity and happiness to you, as an individual, 
yet I rejoice more for the public cause of the church than for 
your own sake, that you have been raised to this high post of 
honour, and assuredly you are a great ornament to that dignity 
which would itself have adorned any other sprung from a less 
illustrious family. I doubt not but the Elector Palatine counts 
it not the least part of his good fortune that he has found a 
count among the highest ranks of the nobility, fitted above all 
others to have this charge confided to him, and who will not 
hesitate, from his well-known feelings of modesty, to undertake 
it. But as the prudence of the prince is to be lauded in this 
choice, so I doubt not but that you have been commended to 
this post of eminence by the hand of God, first that by your 

Institution, Count Eberard expressed some doubts respecting the seasonableneas of 
this act. "For it is to be feared, if any troublesome and suspicious men should learn 
that your attempts and labours give pleasure to the prince, that they will come with 
less alacrity to the conciliation of which I have spoken." Letter of the 8th August, 
1559, vol. of Geneva. 

58 THE COUNT d'erbach. [1559. 

ability, equity, diligence, and activity the state of the princi- 
pality may flourish in inviolate and well-established order, that 
the laws and public ordinances should be vigorously adminis- 
tered, temperance and moderation prevail ; next that religion, the 
spots which still adhere to it being wiped out, should regain its 
unalterable purity and be thoroughly purified from the corrup- 
tions of Popery. That despising the spite and murmurings of 
the ill-afi'ected, you should ply courageously and strenuously 
this holy and pious task, as I deem it unnecessary to exhort 
you, most noble seigneur, I shall confine myself to vows and 
prayers that the Spirit of God would animate you to invincible 
constancy, that by virtue of the same, all obstacles being hap- 
pily overcome, you may triumphantly fulfil the course of your 

How rooted a hatred of all sincere piety exists in the heart 
of the French king, and how implacable is his cruelty towards 
the servants of Christ, was lately made very manifest by one 
example. When he had heard that the Parliament of Paris was 
deliberating about relaxing their former severity, he immediately 
flew thither, and having heard three judgments pronounced, he 
ordered the two judges to be arrested, who had given it as their 
opinion that milder measures should in future be adopted with 
regard to those who had hitherto been too cruelly oppressed. 
And to these two persons he also afterwards added some others 
suspected by him of similar lenity. If you should chance to 
feel any wish for making yourself more fully acquainted with 
the chief points of this aff"air, I have thought proper to send 
to you the letter which was written from Paris. As he is of 
opinion that the doctrine which has been disseminated over all 
parts of his kingdom, emanated from here ; with what ardour he 
is inflamed for razing and destroying this city is evident, though 
he himself indeed dissembles it. 

Assuredly we are not standing safe and sound up to this 
moment, unless by the marvellous protection of God. In the 
mean time as my Institution re-written and so altered as to have 
almost the appearance of a new work, is now in the press, and 
will be brought out at the time of the fair, some of my friends 
have suggested to me that the apology prefixed to it addressed to 

1559.] FRANCIS DANIEL. 59 

King Francis, should remain as a testimony both to the father 
and the son. They think, however, that I should dedicate to 
your illustrious Elector the book itself, -which holds the principal 
and far most conspicuous place among all my lucubrations. I, 
however, did not dare to adopt a measure of this importance, 
unless you should give me some token of your approval of such 
a resolution, and now, if I have been inconsiderate in mentioning 
the matter to you, I beg you will excuse my presumption. If, 
however, you shall have no objections to communicate anything 
to me on that subject, Hotman the jurisconsult who lives at 
Strasbourg will take care to have it transmitted to me. 

Farewell, most excellent and illustrious seigneur. May the 
Lord continue to govern both you and your noble brothers along 
with your families, to protect you and enrich you with every 
blessing, and to foster between you a holy and blessed unity. — 

John Calvin. 

\Laf. orig. autogr. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DXLII. — To Francis Daniel.^ 

He pleads with Daniel in favour of one of his sons who had taken refuge at Geneva 

for the sake of religion. 

Geneva, 2bth July, 1559. 

Sir and well beloved brother, I have delayed till now to write 
to you about your son, both to be better able to decide with 

' Francis Daniel, an advocate at Orleans, the fellow student and friend of Calvin at 
the university of this city. Won over in early youth to the Reformed doctrioes which 
he no doubt derived from Calvin himself, he nevertheless remained outwardly at- 
tached to the Catholic church in spite of the censures of the Reformer. The eldest 
of his sons, Peter Daniel, an advocate of the Parliament of Paris, cultivated letters 
with some success, and kept up a correspondence with Joseph Scaliger (MSS. de Berne, 
vol. 141). The second Francis Daniel, inclined by his tastes to the study of theology, 
but crossed by his father who destined him for the bar, fled from Orleans and repaired 
in 1559 to Geneva. Welcomed affectionately by the Reformer, and docile to his 
counsels, he consented a year afterwards to return to the parental roof, and follow 
the career of the law. See the Latin correspondence of Calvin, 1559, 1560. There 

60 FKANCIS DANIEL. [1559. 

time what I ought to communicate to you, and also because I 
had no opportunity of a sure and fitting messenger. I make no 
doubt but that you are angry at his departure, being disap- 
pointed in the hopes and intentions which you had founded on 
the career which you wished him to pursue. But I beseech you 
not to give such loose to your passions as not to judge equitably, 
in order that you may think favourably of what he has done, if 
it is of God. If you had such courage as most certainly you 
ought to have had in acquitting yourself of your duty, you would 
long ago have shown him the example. But if you are cold 
and tardy in emerging from the gulf in which you are plunged, 
at least bear no grudge against your children if God delivers 
them from it, but take occasion from their example to bestir 
yourself to make every effort to escape from it. 

As far as I have observed, it seems to me that your son has 
by no means been impelled or induced by thoughtlessness, but 
that the fear of God has constrained him to withdraw from 
superstitions with which God is oflended. You ought not to 
feel hurt that God's authority has been preferred to your satis- 
faction. What makes me conclude that the young man has 
been swayed by no other consideration than a desire to serve 
God in purity, is that here he conducts himself with modesty, 
and without any marks of a behaviour different from that of a 
sincere Christian. As yet he has had no succour from me, 
though it only depended on himself to accept what I offered 
with a good heart, and I shall always be ready, for the love I 
bear to you, to aid him as far as my slender means will permit. 
But above all I desire that you should be appeased towards him. 
It is not as if he had quitted you in the manner of debauched 
lads — but since he has been zealous to follow God, you have 
much reason to be satisfied with him, and to that end I most 
afi'ectionately implore you. I hope, after having had some 
answer from you, to write to you more fully; in the meantime, 
having cordially commended me to you, to your mother, and 
your wife, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have you 

exists {Library of Geneva, vol. 196) a letter of young Francis Daniel to Calvin solici- 
ting the favour of studying at the same time theology and law. This letter is dated 
from Orleans, 5th April, 1561. 

1559.] JOHN STURM. 61 

continually in his holy keeping, to govern you by his Spirit and 
increase you in all prosperity. 

Your humble brother and entire friend, 

Charles D'Espeville. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Berne, Coll. Bongars. Vol. 141.] 

DXLIII.— To John Sturm.^ 

Complaints about the weakness and inactivity of the King of Navarre. 

Geneta, 18<A Auguet, 1559. 

It was neither from laziness, nor indifference, nor parsimony, 
that after Hotman's departure I did not write a word about the 
affair that had been agitated between us. But a lack of matter 
kept me silent, for I felt ashamed to write to you an unmeaning 
letter void of information. Since that time we have had daily 
new and contradictory rumours respecting Varranus. Indeed 
it was announced to me more than ten times, that the following 
day or two days after he was expected at the court, when all 
the time he was distant from it more than seven days' journey. 
For as soon as it was known that an expedition had been un- 
dertaken by him, it was believed that he would make all possible 
haste not to lose the opportunity. But advancing at a snail's 
pace, he scarcely accomplished four French leagues a day. In 
this state of doubt you have no reason to be surprised that I 
remained inactive. And yet I have sharply reprimanded the 
man whom I had charged to have an interview with him for not 
having advanced to meet him. What answer he will give me 
as yet I know not. 

' Active negotiations were then entered upon between Strasbourg and Geneva. 
AVhile the young king Francis II., ruled by the Cardinal de Lorraine, signed every 
day orders for fresh executions, Sturm and Hotman urged Calvin to unite his efforts 
with theirs to come to the aid of the cause of the gospel, gravely compromised in 
France. Some Protestants believed they might rely on the King of Navarre, but 
neither Calvin nor Sturm had any confidence in this prince, though in the actual 
State of things it seemed to them impossible not to invoke his aid. It is this prince 
who is designated by the name of Varranus in Calvin's letter to Sturm. See Ch. 
Schmidt, La vie de Jean Sturm, p. 103. 

62 JOHN STURM. [1559. 

From these circumstances our counsels are kept in a great 
measure in suspense. As long as Henry was alive, it was better 
for this man not to show himself. But the change which has 
occurred by the death of the former, forces us to have recourse 
to this necessity. Nay, as I am ignorant whether your prince 
still persists in the same opinion, I should not dare to attempt 
anything unless I were informed of his intentions for fear my 
activity should turn out rash or foolish. But as in the begin- 
ning it was my opinion that Varranus, whose inconsistency I 
suspected, should be left out, so at the present moment, it is ne- 
cessary, whether I will or no, to learn what are his intentions. 
If he had arrived at court in time as was the general belief, 
already informed by his answer of what was necessary to be 
done, I should not have delayed one moment. But because it 
was neither safe to send a letter except by a man on whom we 
could depend, nor was it even ascertained where he was to be 
found, it was my duty to abstain from acting. 

If any news shall be brought which may concern your affairs, 
I shall spare no expense. Among the followers of Guise there 
is much audacity, but of that kind which is to be found among 
men of desperate fortunes. The Queen Regent' after having 
made liberal promises to our party has performed none of them. 
We shall be able to form a more correct judgment then after the 
arrival of Varranus. Before that it is neither useful nor even 
possible to take any steps. But of him you may say that he 
trusts neither in God nor men. His like you will not find in 
our party. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir. May the Lord govern, 
protect, and bless you. 

[Lat. Copy. — Arch. Eccles. of Berne. Vol. vi. p. 847.] 

' Catherine of Medieis. 


DXLIV.— To THE Duke de Longueville.' 

He warns him of the dangers and temptations of the court. 

Geneva, 22nc? August, 1559. 

Monseigneur: — I hope you will not find it strange that 
I continue to exhort you several times, not only to persevere, 
but also to profit and grow in the faith of the holy gospel, and 
show by your efforts that this very precious seed Avhich God has 
sown in you has fallen upon good ground, and has taken deep 
root to produce fruits during your whole life. And even should 
the opportunity present itself of stirring you up oftener, I trust 
that my diligence will not be disagreeable to you, and that you 
will feel sufficiently convinced of the need you will have of it in 
the midst of the many temptations which Satan contrives against 
you, which it is difficult to resist, and would be altogether im- 
possible, if you were not armed by more than human wisdom. 

It is for that reason that I do not doubt but that you desire 
to be fortified by good and holy admonitions to do your duty, 
since you are aware that we gain nothing by flattering ourselves 
in our weakness, if we do not render to God the service and 
honour which is his due. For whatever we may allege, since 
his glory ought to be more precious in our eyes than a hundred 
thousand lives, we have no excuse for not confessing the truth 
of his gospel when he has made us acquainted with it, as it is a 
sacrifice which he strictly requires of us. And it is on this 
subject that Jesus Christ says that no one is worthy of being 
his disciple unless he forsake father and mother and wife, and 
everything that is in the world. 

Now, Monseigneur, you have a great advantage, inasmuch as 
your mother desires nothing more than that you should walk 
straightforwardly in the fear of the Lord, and she could receive 
no greater pleasure from you than that of seeing you virtuously 
profess the faith of the gospel. If on the other hand there is 
any obstacle, you must summon up courage to surmount it, and 

' See the letter, p. 44. 


not give way in any manner that might cause you to defraud 
God of the right which belongs to him in order to gratify men. 
There is no earthly kinsmanship that should not be trampled 
under foot, in order to yield and give place to the honour of our 
sovereign and only Father, to do homage to our Lord Jesus 
Christ on whom all the ties of relationship depend. 

You know from experience, Monseigneur, that I do not say 
this without cause, inasmuch as you are constrained to bear 
many contradictions to which it is not lawful for you to give ear, 
without being disloyal to Him who has purchased you at so 
great a price, to the end that you should be dedicated to him. 
Wherefore it is necessary that you should put on such magna- 
nimity, that neither favour nor hatred should turn you aside 
from glorifying him who deserves the preference over all mortal 
and perishable creatures. And in fact, the only means of aspir- 
ing to this spiritual kingdom, is to despise what keeps us entan- 
gled here below. But that you may be inclined to support all 
these combats, I entreat you, Monseigneur, carefully to exercise 
yourself in reading and hearing the word of God, and the pious 
instructions that may guide you to the understanding thereof, 
that you may have in your heart a lively sense of what St. Paul 
says, viz : that the gospel is the doctrine of truth, and that by 
this means you may maintain with invincible courage the strug- 
gle which most certainly awaits you. 

For, here is the cause of the coldness and cowardice which 
we see in many, — it is that they do not make it their study to 
form their resolution upon good grounds, so that they might say 
according to the admonition of St. Paul, that they know in 
whom they have believed, and that He who is the infallible 
truth, will show himself faithful in keeping what they have 
entrusted to him. For which reason, Monseigneur, take courage, 
I pray you, to do battle in order to arrive at the crown of 
righteousness, which is bestowed on us, it is true of free grace, 
but on this condition that we confess the name of Jesus Christ 
whom it cost so dear to purchase it for us. And in order that 
God may work in you, and support you by the power of his 
Spirit, I pray you also, Monseigneur, to beware of the allurements 
and delights of the world, with which it is impossible that you 



should not be surrounded, that you may be the more on your 
guard against them, reflect that they are so many sorceries of 
Satan, so many mortal poisons to draw you to perdition. Now 
God of his infinite goodness has willed to call us to a much 
better condition. Though, then, many of those who call them- 
selves believers, give themselves a license to abandon themselves 
to their pleasures full of corruption, be not disposed to follow 
their example for fear the light which God has given you should 
be extinguished ; but learn to bear the yoke of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, which you will find easy and light, if you will suflfer your- 
self to be governed by him. 

Whereupon, Monseigneur, having humbly commended me to 
your kind favour, I entreat our heavenly Father to enrich you 
more and more with his spiritual gifts, to confirm you in his 
obedience, to have you in his protection and to maintain you 
in all prosperity. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DXLV, — To THE Marquise de Rothelin.^ 

He urges her to show herself always more firm in the profession of the truth. 

Geneva, 22d August, 1559. 

Madame : — I make no doubt but that in these changes and 
revolutions, you have to endure many alarms, and that you are 
agitated from all sides. If obstacles are thrown in your way, 
you know to whom you must have recourse to obtain succour. 
We have the promise of Him who has all strength in his hands, 
that our faith shall be victorious over all the enemies of our sal- 
vation. Let us then place our stay on him : let us call upon 
him in all our necessities, and we shall never be disappointed in 
our hope that he will stretch out to us a helping hand. I pray 
you, Madame, though others advance tardily, or even go back, 
not to swerve from the straight path, but to pursue triumphantly 

' Letter enclosed in the preceding one to the Duke de Longueville, with these 
words : — To the Marquise, his mother. 


66 PETER MARTYR. [1559. 

the holy vocation to which we have been called, till you have 
attained the mark. For we are elected and adopted by too 
good a Father ever to tire of pleasing him and conforming our 
whole life to his will. And the inheritance to which we are 
called is too excellent not to be pursued to the end. "We have, 
indeed, reason to praise God, Madame, for what we have heard 
of you. But when the question is to honour God, you can 
never set about it with such courage as not to leave room for 
desiring something still better, as I trust that you will always 
aim and strive after a still higher degree of advancement. 

You will see the letter which I have written to your son. 
Because I know how much the house with which he is connected' 
is for the most part hostile to the gospel, I have not scrupled to 
point out to him that he should be so much the more on his 
guard, not to be seduced, corrupted, or turned aside by any 
considerations whatever, from the pure simplicity to which we 
ought to cleave in our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe, also, that 
you will not conceive such an admonition unsuitable, considering 
the necessity there is for it. 

Whereupon, Madame, having humbly commended myself to 
your kind favour, I will entreat our heavenly Father to have 
you in his holy keeping, to guide you always by his Spirit, and 
cause his name to be more and more glorified in you, even to 
the end. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.1 

DXLVI.— To Peter Martyr. 

Sufferings of the Freneh Protestants — Gloomy apprehensions respecting the future. 

Geneva, 4<A October, 1559. 

It fell out opportunely, venerable brother, that two days after 
your letter came to hand this messenger was starting, to whom 
I could with safety confide mine, though indeed nothing occurs 

' He was nephew of Mary of Lorraine, Queen dowager of Scotland, married ia 
first nuptials to Louis IL of Orleans, Duke de Longueville. 

1559.] PETER MARTYR. 67 

to me at the moment to -write to you about but what is sorrow- 
ful. I am unwilling also to make you a sharer in my vexations, 
but that I know that the present subject of anxiety is one which 
is common to both of us. The unhappy state of our brethren 
in France, who have at heart the interests of sincere piety, afflicts 
me with great sorrow, and torments me with no less inquietude 
and apprehension. A prompt remedy for these evils was in the 
power of the King of Navarre, and he had promised wonders. 
But now he has added treachery to his cowardice, which was 
already sufficiently disgraceful. The mother-in-law of the Prince 
of Cond^' had obtained of the queen-mother that one of the 
ministers of the church of Paris^ should be admitted to an in- 
terview. After being sent for, he is dismissed with mockery.^ 
Meanwhile all things are tending towards a horrible butchery, 
because those who had professed themselves the disciples of 
Christ, and had frequented the secret assemblies, were de- 
nounced by apostates. The thing is passing sad. Yet must 
we wait patiently and calmly till our Avenger appear from on 
high, who will come at the appointed time, that I know. But 
we must also entreat him to support infirm minds. I will not 
exhort you and your colleagues to recommend the deliverance 
of these poor brethren to God, because I know that you are 
spontaneously inclined to this duty. 

Farewell, most distinguished sir and sincerely honoured bro- 
ther. Salute friends. May the Lord protect you and your 
wife from all evil, govern and strengthen you, and enrich you 
with his gifts. Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Calvin's Lat. Corresp. — Opera, ix. p. 136.] 

' The Countess de Roye. ' The Minister la Roche Chaudieu. 

' Peter Martyr entertained no false illusions respecting the sentiments of Catha- 
rine of Medicis. Here is the manner in which he judged this princess whose coun- 
tryman he was : — " Others are perhaps astonished at the queen. I am not. For 
hitherto I have never perceived any sincere marks of her pious sentiments in respect 
of religion." Educated in the school of Machiavelli, this princess deceived all par- 
ties with the same duplicity, and remained faithful to but one maxim — To sow divi- 
sions in order to reign. 

68 BULLINGER. [1559. 


Reply of a German prince — Beza at Strasbourg — Deplorable situation of the French 
Reformed — Preludes of Civil Wars. 

Geneva, 5th Octoler, 1559. 

The native of Saxony whom you recommended to me, my vene- 
rable brother, has found an honest and courteous host in Macar, 
one of our colleagues, at whose house he will lodge very com- 
fortably. In congratulating me on my better health, you act 
according to your wonted kindness and fraternal affection for me. 
You have also acted the part of a friend in informing me of 
things which, though they were not in all respects agreeable, 
were yet useful to be known. Herman had written the same 
thing to me about the answer of the Count of Erbach. I had 
received a short time before a letter from his brother Eberard,' 
in which he lets me know that he had always hitherto professed 
a great desire that the princess should decide upon a conference 
for the purpose of putting an end to dissensions. As he is a 
man of remarkable prudence, and altogether devoted to our 
party, I do not think he expresses himself thus without some 
solid reason. If he entertains favourable hopes of the result, 
the opportunity ought not to be neglected. For he threw out 
various hints on that subject, about which I have never written 
even a syllable. But for that very reason, I have wished to 
put you in mind that if you think proper you may consult with 
M. Peter Martyr and the other brethren what answer we should 

Our brother Beza has gone to Strasbourg. What he will do 
I know not, or rather I suspect he will do nothing ; but as an 
expedition of great importance which concerns us is undertaken 
by certain persons, and Sturm earnestly demanded to have an 
interview with me or Beza, we thought it right to concede a 
little to his wishes lest he should fancy himself slighted.^ At 

• See p. 56. 

" They were then discussing at Strasbourg projects of resistance to the oppression 
of the Guises, projects which were destined to terminate in the conspiracy of Amboise. 
Calvin did not hesitate to disapprove beforehand in the most absolute manner of the 

1559.] BULLINGER. 69 

Paris the cruelty of the enemies of the gospel rages more 
furiously than it appears hitherto to have done. Commissa- 
ries have orders to go over the whole city, and inquire from 
house to house in what manner each person conducts himself, 
and whether he goes to mass on all the feast days. They not 
only make their way into bed-chambers, but rummage beds, 
chests, and coflFers, that they may forthwith drag to prison those 
in whose possession they find a suspected book. They turn all 
the household furniture upside down, and menace with punish- 
ment the masters of families, if they shall be discovered to 
have sheltered a Lutheran in their houses. They strictly en- 
join all neighbours to keep a careful watch on each other, under 
severe penalties for their negligence, if they are slack in the 
performance of this duty.^ Under this pretext not a few houses 
have been pillaged. There lately took place an occurrence 
which will inflame the rage of these men. Some fifteen per- 
sons of noble rank were dining in a tavern. In a moment the 
commissary is at his post. His beadles break through the win- 
dows. As the afi"air had a tumultuous and hostile aspect, these 
foreign guests having drawn their swords began to repel force 
by force. One of the beadles was killed, a good many wounded. 
Thus, unless God provide a remedy in time, there will be no 
end to the effusion of blood. A much greater number of men 
has been cast into fetters than during the two preceding years. 
The most loathsome dungeons are crowded with wretched indi- 
viduals. Every now and then along the thoroughfares numer- 
ous persons are summoned by sound of trumpet to appear. 
The property of the absent is plundered. 

In Provence the brethren, attacked by private individuals 
with the sword and outrage, have begun to defend themselves. 

general intention of having recourse to force, and this opinion, which he shared with 
Sturm, was opposed by Hotman, whose influence finally prevailed in this unfortunate 

• In order to discover more readily the Reformed, images of the Virgin were placed 
at the corners of the streets and over the doors of the houses, and wo to him who 
did not salute them. He fell under the blows of the populace rendered fanatical by 
the monks. Did one wish to deliver himself from a troublesome creditor, he had but 
to cry out, The Lutheran, the Lutheran ! and the debt was expunged, and the debtor 
profited moreover by the spoils of his creditor. — D'Aubigne, Hist. Univ., vol. i., p. 91. 

70 ' MADAME DE GRAMMONT. [1559. 

Hitherto they have had the upper hand, and have slain but few, 
though they might have exterminated all to a man.^ We have 
till now kept back the Normans, but it is greatly to be feared 
that if they be excessively provoked they too will rush to arms. 
God then is to be entreated that of his admirable goodness and 
wisdom he would calm these troubled billows. In the meantime, 
I pray him that he would protect, govern, and bless you, your 
family and colleagues. Yiret and the others cordially salute 
you. You will salute affectionately in my name our friends and 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and most respected brother. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. Autog., Library of Leyclen.] 

DXLYIII. — To Madame de Grammont.* 

Consolations on the subject of a domestic affliction. 

Geneva, 28«A October, 1559. 

Madame : — I could have wished much, had it pleased God, to 
have a more agreeable subject to write to you upon for the first 
time, but it is highly proper that we resign ourselves to be go- 
verned according to the will of him to whom we belong, and 
who has all superiority and empire over us ; though it is our 
duty not only to consider his power and the obedience which 
we owe him, but also to reflect when he afflicts us, or visits us 
with the rod, that it is for our instruction and profit, and that he 
will know how to bring our distress to a favourable issue, if we 
shall patiently wait for it. 

I shall not lay before you in detail the uses of adversity, 

' The occasion of these troubles was the cowardly assassination of Antony de Mou- 
vans, known to be a Protestant. The Parliament of Aix, instead of pursuing the au- 
thors of the crime, caused the corpse of the person assassinated to be thrown into the fire. 

" Doubtless Helen de Clermont, only daughter of Francis de Clermont, Seigneur 
de Toulangeon and Treves, married in 1549 to Anthony de Grammont, Viscomte of 
Aster. Impelled by ambition to join the Huguenot party, which he was one day to 
betray, this seigneur exercised important functions at the court of the King of Na- 
varre, and died in 1676. 


because this subject would occupy me too long, and also because 
I know that you have been instructed by the Scriptures to what 
purpose we ought to apply it, whether it be to teach us to quit this 
world more willingly, and in the meantime, while we are in it, 
to subdue all our carnal desires, or to humble ourselves, to show 
our obedience, and exercise our faith by prayer, to groan over 
our faults, in order to obtain pardon ; and, in one word, to be 
dead to the world, in order to dedicate ourselves to God as a 
living sacrifice. 

Passing by these things, then, which I suppose you to be 
thoroughly acquainted with, I now entreat you, Madame, with 
regard to the domestic misfortune which distresses you, to im- 
press on your mind that such trials are sent to hold us captive 
in our affections, and so subdue them as to submit to what God 
knows to be just and equitable. I easily conceive what sorrows 
you endure, when you see your yoke-fellow continuing unfaith- 
ful to you, and that even after having given you some hope of 
his amendment, he again returns to his debaucheries of former 
times. But the consolations which the Scriptures hold out to 
us should needs have so much the more power over your heart 
to alleviate your sadness. I will only suggest to you, that had 
all your wishes on this subject been satisfied, how much you 
might have been carried away by vain pleasures, by the delights 
and allurements of the world, so as in part to forget God. But 
even though you should not know the cause of God's thus deal- 
ing with you, it nevertheless becomes you so far to honour him 
as to deem this point unquestionable ; namely, that, since he is 
all goodness and all justice, we are bound humbly to receive 
what he sends us, and that there is neither objection nor reply 
to be made to his dispensations. Exhort yourself then to pa- 
tience by the word of God, and strive to overcome all tempta- 
tions, by which I have no doubt you are greatly agitated. In 
the mean time, pray God continually to convert the heart of your 
husband, and on your own part make every efi"ort to win him over 
and fix him in the right path. I know what a hard task that 
will be for you, because you have been already several times 
deceived, and it is not difiicult to perceive by diiferent signs 
that he has sat but too long in the seat of the scorner. But 


nevertheless you must still labour to that end, as therein lies 
the true remedy. 

As to your intention of quitting him, though I confess it is 
but what he deserves, yet I beg and exhort you, Madame, in 
the name of God to renounce this purpose, unless you follow it 
up in the lawful way. For if he shall be convicted of adultery 
before the tribunals, you will be held to be excusable in sepa- 
rating from him. And you are aware that if every one assumed 
the liberty of divorce of his own authority, without a public 
sentence, there would be no end to disorder. Above all, you 
should weigh well the scandal that may accrue from your per- 
son, and what a handle it would give to the enemies of God to 
vomit forth their blasphemies and defame the gospel. When 
you shall have duly reflected on these things, you will find that 
it is not lawful for you to separate from him, till at least you 
have observed the due formalities, and a public sentence have 
been pronounced. And even should you be unsuccessful in 
obtaining your rights, it will be evident that it did not depend 
on you that the cause was not judged. Your proceedings will 
so far vindicate your innocence as to stop the mouths of those 
who would seek a pretext for slander, as you are not ignorant 
how we are watched on every side, especially those of us who 
are most known and esteemed, because the devil and the un- 
godly have thereby more ample matter for their triumphs. 
But as in such extremities it is not easy always to hold the pro- 
per course, the most important point is to pray God to guide you 
with all prudence and the uprightness of his Spirit, so that you 
undertake nothing which may not be approved of and agree- 
able to him. On my part, also, Madame, I will supplicate him 
to strengthen you by his power that you faint not under the bur- 
den ; to moderate all your distresses, so as they shall not pre- 
vent you from blessing his holy name ; to increase you in all 
spiritual blessings, to have you in his holy keeping, and show 
you that you are the object of his care. Whereupon 1 will 
conclude, having humbly commended me to your kind favour. 
[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

1559.] JOHN KNOX. 73 

DXLIX.— To John Knox.^ 

Answers to different ecclesiastical questions. 

Geneva, 'Ith November, 1559. 

If I answer your letter, most excellent brother, later than you 
expected, your fellow countryman who brought it to me will be 
the best witness that laziness was not the cause of my delay. 
You yourself know also how seldom a suitable opportunity of 
writing to you occurs, because in the distui'bed state of aifairs 
all access to your country is difficult. It was a source of 
pleasure, not to me only but to all the pious persons to whom I 
communicated the agreeable tidings, to hear of the very great 
success which has crowned your labours. 

But as we are astonished at such incredible progress in so 
brief a space of time, so we likewise give thanks to God whose 
singular blessing is signally displayed herein. This affords you 
ample matter for confidence for the future, and ought to animate 
you to overcome all opposition. As I am not ignorant how 
strenuous you are in stirring up others, and what abilities and 
energies God has endowed you with for going through with this 
task, I have deemed it superfluous to stimulate the brethren. 
Meanwhile we are not less anxious about your perils, than if we 
were engaged along with you in a common warfare ; and what 
is alone in our power, we join our vows to yours, that our 
heavenly Father would strike all your furious adversaries with 
the spirit of folly and blindness, scatter all their counsels, and 
defeat all their attempts and preparations. Certainly they 
labour under great difficulties in arming their fleet ; especially 
for want of money. So much the more obstinately will the old 

' By a letter of the 27th August of the same year, Knox had addressed to Calvin 
two questions relating to the administration of baptism and to ecclesiastical property. 
The message of the Scotch Eeformer terminated with these words : " I am prevented 
from writing to you more amply by a fever which afflicts me, by the weight of labours 
which oppress me, and the cannon of the French which they have now brought over 
to crush us. He whose cause we defend, will come to the aid of his own. Be mindful 
of us in your prayers. Grace be with you." 


74 JOHN KNOX. [1559. 

dragon essay to throw everything into confusion, rather than 
not attempt something. 

Respecting the questions of which you ask for a solution, 
after I had laid them before my colleagues, here is the answer 
which we unanimously resolved to send. It is not without 
reason that you inquire whether it be lawful to admit to the 
sacrament of baptism the children of idolaters and excommuni- 
cated persons before their parents have testified their repentance. 
For we ought always to be carefully on our guard that the 
sanctity of this mystery be not profaned, which it certainly 
should be if it were promiscuously administered to aliens, or if 
any one received it without having such sponsors as may be 
counted among the legitimate members of the church. But as 
in the proper use of baptism the authority of God is to be con- 
sidered, and his institution ought to derive its authority from 
certain conditions, one of the first things to be considered is 
who are the persons that God by his own voice invites to be 

Now. God's promise comprehends not only the offspring of 
every believer in the first line of descent, but extends to 
thousands of generations. Whence it has happened that the 
interruption of piety which has prevailed in Popery has not 
taken away from baptism its force and efficacy. For we must 
look to its origin, and the very reason and nature of baptism is 
to be esteemed as arising from the promise of God. To us then 
it is by no means doubtful that an offspring descended from holy 
and pious ancestors, belong to the body of the church, though 
their fathers and grandfathers may have been apostates. For 
just as in Popery it was a pernicious and insane superstition, 
to steal or forcibly abduct their children from Jews or Turks, 
and forthwith to have them baptized ; so likewise, wherever the 
profession of Christianity has not been altogether interrupted 
or destroyed, children are defrauded of their privileges if they 
are excluded from the common symbol; because it is unjust, 
when God, three hundred years ago or more, has thought them 
worthy of his adoption, that the subsequent impiety of some 
of their progenitors should interrupt the course of heavenly 
grace. In fine, as each person is not admitted to baptism from 

1559.] JOHN KNOX. 75 

respect or regard to one of his parents alone, but on account of 
the perpetual covenant of God ; so in like manner, no just reason 
suffers children to be debarred from their initiation into the 
church in consequence of the bad conduct of only one parent. 
In the mean time we confess that it is indispensable for them to 
have sponsors. For nothing is more preposterous than that 
persons should be incorporated with Christ, of whom we have no 
hopes of their ever becoming his disciples. Wherefore if none 
of its relations present himself to pledge his faith to the church 
that he will undertake the task of instructing the infant, the rite 
is a mockery and baptism is prostituted. 

But we see no reason for rejecting any child for whom a due 
pledge has been given. Add to these considerations that the 
manner of proceeding adopted by a church now arising from its 
ruins, and that of one duly formed and established are two very 
diffei'ent things. For whilst a church is being composed out of 
that horrible state of dispersion, since the form of has 
prevailed through a long series of ages down to our times, it is 
to be retained, but with the progress of time the abuses which 
have crept in are to be corrected, and the parents forced to pre- 
sent their children themselves and become the first sponsors. 
For if in the first commencements an absolute perfection is 
severely exacted, it is greatly to be feared that many laying 
eagerly hold of this pretext will continue to wallow in their 

We confess indeed that we should not attach so much im- 
portance to anything as to swerve even a hair's breadth from the 
line prescribed to us by God; but we imagine we have demon- 
strated in a few words that if we exclude from baptism those 
whom we have had proofs of having been domesticated, as it 
were, in the church, the exclusion would be too rigorous. In 
the mean time, therefore, waiting till greater progress have been 
made, and discipline have gained strength, let children be ad- 
mitted to baptism on the condition we have mentioned, viz : that 
their sponsors engage that they will make it their business to 
have them brought up in the principles of a pious and uncor- 
rupted religion. Though in the mean time we do not deny, that 
idolaters, as often as children are born unto them, should be 

76 JOHN KNOX. [1559. 

sharply admonished and stirred up to devote themselves truly 
to God, as also excommunicated persons to be reconciled to the 

To monks and priests it is certain that maintenance is not 
due from the public that they may live uselessly in idleness. 
If any of them then are fitted for edifying the church, let them 
be called to take a part in that labour. But as most of them 
are ignorant and void of capacity, it seems proper that we should 
act towards them with humanity. For though they have no 
claim to receive public support, inasmuch as they contribute 
nothing to the service of the church, yet it would be cruel that 
those who have been inveigled by ignorance and error, and have 
spent a part of their life in idleness, should be reduced to desti- 
tution. They are to be admonished indeed rather to seek their 
livelihood from labour, than devour the substance destined for 
the ministers of the church and the poor. A middle course is 
also to be pursued, as for example from rich benefices a part 
might be set aside for pious uses. In the mean time, however, 
provided the church recover by their death the ecclesiastical 
property, it does not seem fitting to raise a strife about the 
annual revenue, except that its present possessors are to be re- 
minded that they retain by indulgence and forbearance, not from 
approbation, what they had never had any right to possess. They 
are also to be exhorted not to pamper themselves, but contented 
with a frugal manner of living, to restore to the church what be- 
longs to it, rather than suffer it to be deprived of faithful pastors, 
or the pastors themselves to be starved. 

Farewell, most excellent sir and our very dear brother. The 
whole assembly of the pious in our name wish you prosperity ; 
and we pray God that he may govern you all by his Spirit even 
to the end, sustain you by his power, and shield you with his 

[Calvin's Lai. corresp., Opera, ix. p. 201.1 

1559.] FRANCIS DANIEL. 77 

DL. — To Francis Daniel.' 

News of young Daniel studying at the Academy of Ueneva. 

Geneva, 26th November, 1559. 

Your allowing me to implore you in behalf of your son, and 
granting him forgiveness at my earnest entreaties, is a favour very 
grateful to me, and which brings back the pleasing recollections 
of our early friendship which I perceive you have not forgotten. 
The young man himself I have seriously admonished not to 
abandon the study of the civil law. At first he replied that he 
had no great taste for that science, from which he expected to 
derive no advantage ; ^nd when he represented to me the nume- 
rous corrupt practices that now almost universally prevail in 
civil actions, I confess he had very plausible reasons for not en- 
gaging willingly in such pursuits. But after I had reminded 
him of his duty, and that he could not escape from the charge 
of ingratitude unless he complied with your wishes, he promised 
that he would submit to whatever by your orders I should pre- 
scribe. But though overcome by my authority he yielded, not 
to conceal from you any thing, I must say that I perceived that 
against his inclinations this consent was wrung from him. As 
far, however, as my occupations will permit, I shall make it my 
business to watch over him and prevent him from overstepping 
the limits of authority at the caprice of his own will. For there 
is no reason to fear that he will give himself up to the excesses 
which too often characterize the impetuosity of his age, though 
perhaps in time I may perceive that he will not have made the 
progress in civil law that one could wish. We shall have to 
take counsel from circumstances, for you know how difficult a 
thing it is to force generous natures. I shall also take care 
that he apply himself to the politer branches of learning, to 
which he may at the same time add the study of theology. 
Assuredly it is especially necessary, whatever be the career for 
which you destine him, that he should be carefully imbued with 
sentiments of piety. Hitherto I do not see why his departure 

• See the letter to the same, p. 60. 


should cause you any regret, since from it very desirable effects 
have already resulted. Would to God that in your turn you 
too could extricate yourself from the snares in which you are 
held entangled. He shall receive monthly the allowance about 
which you have given me directions in your letter. Moreover, 
as the coat with which he left home was stolen from him at 
Lyons, it was not possible to refuse to let him have another 
which cost very little, in order to protect him from the winter's 
cold. So much for the present. If anything new shall occur 
in the course of time, I shall not fail to inform you of it most 
punctually. Since I cannot otherwise consult for the eternal 
welfare of our friend Flamberge, I will pray that he may be en- 
dowed with a sounder mind than to waste his life in his present 
filthy dregs. Of the father of Bonrepcfs^ what can I say, who 
acquiesces with but too much security in all the pollutions of 
Popery? May God govern you all with his spirit, protect and 
sustain you by his power, enrich you with heavenly gifts, and 
pour out his blessing more and more upon your family. 

Again and again, farewell, most excellent sir, and honoured 
friend. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

{Lat. Copy. — Library of Berne, Coll. Bongars. Yol. 141. p. 47-1 

DLL — To Monsieur de Clervant.^ 

Marks of sympathy on the occasion of the exile to which this seigneur was condemned. 

Geneva, November, 1559. 

Sir, and honoured brother, when I exhorted you some time 
ago not to yield, I meant not only that you should hold out 

' In the original text : Quid de patre Bonae quietis dicam? 

* Anthony Claude de Vienne, Baron de Clervant, banished from Metz in 1558, on ac- 
count of his attachment to the Reformation. He returned there the following year, by the 
protection of the German princes, and caused the gospel to be preached at his chateau 
de Montoy, by the minister Peter de Cologne, whom he had brought with him from 
Geneva. This minister wrote to Calvin : " I am still with M. de Clervant in his 
chateau, which is about a mile distant from the town. I there preach two sermons 
on the Sundays, and one on the Wednesdays. A few peasants from the neighbouring 


courageously in your chateau, but also that whatever should 
happen, you should not flinch from your constancy in the faith ; 
as our most impregnable stronghold is to call on God, and in 
the confident hope of his assistance to resist all the opposition 
•which Satan and his agents contrive against us. And in truth 
it is now more than ever that it behoves you to put in practice 
this doctrine ; for you are exposed to no small temptation in 
being compelled to quit your house and earthly goods, and bid 
farewell to your country, in order to remain constant and un- 
shaken in the profession which you have made of following the 
uncorrupted truth of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Thus as your enemies have had permission to carry their evil 
intentions so far as even to wish to have the place razed, which 
you had dedicated to the word of God for the instruction of 
yourself and many believers, you have now to combat in another 
fashion. It is true that during your absence your house cannot 
be a sanctuary of God in which he is served and adored, but 
this blessing remains, that wherever you go, you will carry his 
temple along with you. On the other hand, I hope that this 
storm will ere long blow over, so that the evil intentioned will 
find their designs defeated ; and when they fancy that they 
have gained their ends, and ruined what God by your means 
had erected, all will be anew established. For when they seem 
like thunderbolts to destroy everything, God causes them to be 
scattered like clouds, without doing the tenth part of the evil 
which was apprehended. 

I conceive a part of the anguish with which you must now be 

villages, and also some persons from the town come together to hear them." 11th 
March, 1559, MSS. of Paris, Dupuy, 102. The death of Henry II., it was thought, 
should have operated some change in the sad condition of the Protestants of Metz ; 
but letters of Francis II., written at the instigation of the Marquis of Senneterre, 
governor of the town, enjoined the persons professing the Reformed religion to quit 
the country: "and Clervant was expressly ordered to abstain from holding any as- 
semblies or conventicles, on pain of having his house pulled down and razed, and his 
person proceeded against according to the enormity of his fault." Hist. Eccl. Vol. III. 
p. 443. The Protestants of Metz obtained a year's delay, to put their affairs in order, 
and M. de Clervant, yielding to the storm, withdrew to Strasbourg. He returned to 
his country after the edict of January, and played a distinguished part in the religious 
wars. See HUt. Eccl. Vol. III. pp. 478 and 479, and Ancillon, Vie de Farel, Amster- 
dam, 1694, pp. 267 to 270. 


afflicted ; but since you have long repeated your lesson in the school 
of the Son of God, I trust that you will neither be overcome nor 
discouraged, though you should still have much more to endure. 
You must even prepare yourself for greater and ruder assaults, as 
I have no doubt but God will soon grant you an opportunity of 
returning to the place which you have quitted, in order to oppose 
the enemies more vigorously than ever, and hold them more closely 
in check. Though we know not the revolutions which it is the 
will of God to bring round, yet most certainly we perceive very 
striking signs of them. Nevertheless, though everything should 
be involved in tenfold greater confusion, all we have to do is to 
hold on our course. You know what cause it is which you de- 
fend, and that even should things take the worst turn, the fruits 
of our victory are reserved for us in heaven, and cannot fail us. 
I am very sorry that I am not nearer you, to be able to acquit 
myself a little better of my duty in consoling and fortifying you. 
But our merciful Father will not fail you. I trust also that you 
will derive much comfort from our brother who has followed 
you, as well as from M. Emmanuel Tremelli. 

To conclude, sir, having affectionately commended me to 
your kind favour, I will entreat the Father of mercies to keep 
you always under his protection, to sustain you by his invinci- 
ble power, and provide for you and your family, as he shall find 
it expedient. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

BLII. — To THE Brethren of France.' 

He exhorts them to redouhle their faith to meet their redoubled perseoutiona, and to 
live and die for the confession of Jesus Christ. 


Geneta, November, 1559. 

Dearly beloved Brethren : — I have no doubt but certain 
persons will think me importunate for writing to you at the pre- 

' The death of Henry II. (10th July, 1659) and the accession of the young king 
Francis II., who was ruled by the Guises, rendered the situation of the Protestants 


sent moment, while the cruelty of the ungodly rages with such 
fury against the Christians, and while it requires so little to 
exasperate it more and more. But those who think so are mis- 
taken; for it is in times like these that you have most need of 
exhortations to give you courage. Persecutions are the true 
comhats of Christians to try the constancy and firmness of their 
faith. Wherefore being assailed, what ought they to do but to 
fly to arms ? 

Now our arms to combat valiantly in this cause, and resist the 
enemy, are to fortify ourselves, by what God shows us in his 
word. And just as each of us feels himself more timid, so ought 
he to seek for the remedy. And herein we see how much most 
men are apt to flatter themselves in their infirmities, for those 
who are from weakness most disposed to be thrown into con- 
sternation are those who most refuse to seek strength from God 
by the means which he has appointed. Learn then, my brethren, 
that this is the true season to write to you, when the fire of per- 
secutions is lighted, and when the alarms of the poor church of 
God are carried to an extremity. We see that the worthy martyrs 
followed this practice — to be so much the more vigilant in stir- 
ring up one another by holy admonitions, as they saw their 
tyrants employing greater efforts to ruin Christianity. There 
then is an example for us to follow. And in fad we hear that 
our Lord Jesus Christ, after having warned the disciples of the 

more cruel. Informers multiplietl the number of suspected persons whom the chamhres 
ardcntes, instituted by the edict of Blois for that purpose, handed over to the execu- 
tioner. "From the month of August to the month of March of the following }'ear," 
says the historian of the martyrs, " there was nothing but arrestations and imprison- 
ments, pillage of houses, outlawries, and massacres of the servants of God. God, 
however, amid these storms and tempests preserved the residue of his church, and 
the preaching of the gospel was not abandoned." The language of Beza is not less 
expressive: — ''AVe may say of this reign which lasted only seventeen months, what 
Jesus Christ says in St. Matthew, viz : ' Except those days should be shortened there 
should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.' 
Notwithstanding this He who suffers not his own to be loaded beyond what they caa 
bear, gave such assistance to his lambs, that were for the most part only newly born, 
and in like manner to the pastors who had just begun to arrange them in little flocks, 
that amid all those storms, they not only subsisted, but, what is more, assumed a 
regular order, and increased their numbers in many parts of the kingdom.'" — Hist. 
Eccl. Vol. I. p. 212, and Hist, des Martyrs, Liv. vii. p. 464. Disseminated from 
church to church, and multiplied by pious bauds, the letters of the Reformer spread 
everywhere courage and self-denial. 


great troubles which were to come, and of which we see a part, 
adds : Rejoice, and lift up your heads, for your redemption is at 
hand. If we do not rejoice, at least we ought to strive to cor- 
rect the vice which prevents us from so doing. 

I know the dangers to which you are exposed, and I would 
not from inconsiderate zeal put a new sword into the hands of 
these enraged enemies ; but yet it is necessary to set bounds to 
our own fears, so that those who have need of being strength- 
ened by the word of God be not deprived of such a blessing ; 
I leave you to judge if you do not see much unbelief among you, 
inasmuch as many are downcast as if God were no longer a 
living God. Thence you may judge that it is the more ne- 
cessary for me, as much as in me lies, to endeavour to correct 
this defect, in order that the grace of God be not altogether 
quenched in you. It is no new thing for you to be like sheep 
in the jaws of the wolf; but the rage of your foes is at present 
more than ever inflamed to destroy the poor flock of Jesus 
Christ. And it is not only in one place; reflect that your 
brethren who are members of the same body, have to suffer like 
you for the same cause in distant countries. It is therefore the 
time to show more than ever that we have not been taught in 
vain. We are bound to live and die for Him who died for us, 
for our faith is not styled a victory over the world merely to 
make us triumph in the shade and without a struggle; but much 
rather that we should be armed by it to overcome Satan with 
all that he can devise against us; and the doctrine of the gospel 
is not for us to speculate about at our ease, but to demonstrate, 
by its effects, that the world should be held cheap by us in com- 
parison of the heavenly kingdom. 

Wherefore those that are so terrified in the time of persecu- 
tion that they know not how to act, have not profited much as 
yet in the school of God. If there is terror, that is nothing 
new ; for as we are men, it is not possible that we should not be 
environed by human passions. And since God supports our 
infirmity, it is but reasonable that we should do the like. Even 
those who feel themselves shaken with astonishment ought not 
to lose heart, as if they were already vanquished. But the 
capital point is that instead of indulging this weakness we should 


seek to shake it off and be re-animated by the Spirit of God. I 
say then that nothing is more opposite to Christianity, of which 
we make a profession, than that when the Son of God our 
captain calls us to the combat, we should be not only cold and faint 
hearted, but seized with such consternation as to desert his 
standard. Let us then strive against our flesh, seeing that it is 
our greatest enemy, and that we may obtain pardon of God let 
us not pardon ourselves, but rather let us be our own judges to 
condemn ourselves. Let each as he finds himself tardy, push him- 
self on, and let all of us collectively, knowing that we do not do 
our duty, be pleased to be stirred up by others, and may God 
let us feel the spur as often as he knows that our indolence 
requires it. 

The thing most calculated to terrify us is the enormous 
cruelty practised against our poor brethren. In fact it is a 
frightful spectacle, and one which might well make the incon- 
stant shudder. But we ought on the other hand to contemplate 
the invincible courage with which God has endowed them. For 
in some way or other they surmount all the torments which the 
ungodly can devise to cast down their courage. So'then Satan, 
on the one hand, is contriving everything to trouble the poor 
brethren to make them swerve from the truth and turn aside 
from the path of salvation. With unbridled rage he vents 
against them all his spite. While on the other, God mean while 
assists them, and though they suffer extreme anguish according 
to the weakness of the flesh, yet still do they persevere in the 
confession of his name. In that you see they are victorious. 
Should then the cruelty of the adversaries, which in spite of all 
their efforts is vanquished, have more weight with you to deaden 
your hearts, than that power from on high, with which God aids 
his children, ought to have to increase in you the perseverance 
which you should maintain in his truth ? You see the assistance 
of God which remains victorious and will you not repose your 
confidence in it? You see the faith which triumphs in the 
martyrs, who endure death, and shall it be the cause of annihi- 
lating yours? Wherefore, my brethren, when the tyrants ex- 
haust all their fury, learn to turn your eyes to contemplate the 
succour which God affords his followers ; and seeing that they are 


not forsaken by him, take new comfort and cease not to war 
against the temptations of your flesh, till you have attained the 
full conviction that we are happy in belonging to Christ whether 
it be to die or to live. 

I am aware what reflections may here present themselves to 
our minds ; that in the meantime the servants of God do never- 
theless suff'er, and that the wicked from the impunity with which 
they commit their acts of cruelty, break out more and more into 
all sorts of excesses. But since it is our duty to suffer, we 
ought humbly to submit ; as it is the will of God that his church 
be subjected to such conditions that even as the plough passes 
over the field, so should the ungodly have leave to pass their 
sword over us all from the least to the greatest. According then 
to what is said in the psalm, we should prepare our back for 
stripes. If that condition is hard and painful, let us be satisfied 
that our heavenly Father in exposing us to death, turns it to 
our eternal welfare. And indeed it is better for us to suffer for 
his name, without flinching, than to possess his word without 
being visited by afllliction. For in prosperity we do not expe- 
rience the wbrth of his assistance and the power of his Spirit, 
as when we are oppressed by men. That seems strange to us ; 
but he who sees more clearly than we, knows far better what is 
advantageous for us. Now when he permits his children to be 
afiiicted, there is no doubt but that it is for their good. Thus 
we are forced to conclude that whatever he orders, is the best 
thing we could desire. 

If we are not satisfied with that, he shows us that as much as 
our faith is more precious than gold or silver, so it is the more 
reasonable that it should be tried. Also it is by this means 
that we are mortified, in order not to be rooted in our love for 
this world, and more evil affections than we can imagine are 
thus corrected, were it but to teach us humility and bring down 
that pride which is always greater in us than it ought to bo. 
By it he also wishes to put us in mind of the esteem in which 
we ought to hold his word ; for if it cost us nothing we should 
not know its worth. He permits us then to be afiiicted for it, 
in order to show us how very precious he considers it. But 
above all by sufferings he wishes us to be conformed to the 


image of his Son, as it is fitting that there should be conformity 
between the head and the members. Let us not then suppose 
that we are forsaken of God -when we suffer persecution for his 
truth, but rather he so disposes matters for our greater good. 
If that is repugnant to our senses, it is so because we are always 
more inclined to seek for our rest here below than in the king- 
dom of heaven. Now since our triumph is in heaven, we must 
be prepared for the combat while we live here upon earth. 

Moreover, my brethren, from the example that is now set be- 
fore you, learn that God will strengthen you in proportion to 
your necessities. For he knows well how to adapt the measure 
of our temptations to the strength with which it is his will to 
endow us in order to endure them. We are sufiiciently ad- 
monished, besides, by the Scriptures, that tyrants can do nothing 
more against us than what our merciful Father permits them. 
Now in permitting them, he knows who we are, and will thus 
provide for the issue. The cause then of our great consterna- 
tion is that looking at our own weakness we do not turn our 
eyes to the succour which we ought to expect and demand of 
God. So it is but just that he come not to our aid since we 
do not seek for him. We must even hope, that when he shall 
have tried his church, he will bridle the fury of the tyrants and 
cause it to cease in despite of all their efforts. In waiting for 
such an issue it is our duty to possess our souls in patience. 
Most certainly he will accomplish what he has promised in the 
psalm, which I have already quoted, viz : that he will break the 
cords of the plough which they drag over us to cut and destroy 
us, and in another passage — that the sceptre of the ungodly will 
not remain for ever in their inheritance, for fear the just stretch 
out their hands to do evil. Whatever happen, do you profit by 
the constancy with which you see your brethren endure perse- 
cution to support the truth of God, that it may confirm you to 
persevere in the faith. 

It has been said of old that the blood of the martyrs is the 
seed of the church. If it is a seed from which we derive our 
origin in Jesus Christ, it should also be a shower to water us 
that we may grow and make progress, even so as to die well. 
For if this blood is precious in the sight of God, it ought not 


to be unprofitable for us ; thus we see that St. Paul boasts that 
his bonds have contributed to the advancement of the gospel 
and expects that in his death the name of Jesus Christ will be 
exalted. The reason is that when we are persecuted we are 
called by God to maintain his cause, being, as it were, his attor- 
neys ; not that he has need of us or that we are proper for that, 
but since he does us the honour to employ us therein, it is not his 
will that we should lose our pains. Wherefore we ought to have 
in the utmost detestation that blasphemy of ancient hypocrites 
who murmur against those who glorify the name of God, even 
to the offering up of their own lives, just as if by the confes- 
sion of their Christianity these martyrs created scandal. Such 
persons have never known what Jesus Christ is, but have forged 
to themselves an idol under his name, when they reckon for a 
scandal what ought to stand for a signature to ratify more and 
more to our consciences the truth of the gospel. And sihce 
they are not ashamed to despise the servants of God for their 
rashness, because the latter expose themselves to death to de- 
fend the cause of God's Son, they will feel one day to their sore 
confusion, how much more agreeable this temerity, as they style 
it, is to God than their wisdom, or rather the diabolical cun- 
ning which they display, in denying the truth in order to exempt 
themselves from all danger. It is horrible that those who call 
themselves Christians should be so stupid, or rather brutalized, 
as to renounce Jesus Christ as soon as he displays his cross. 
As for you, my brethren, hold in reverence the blood of the 
martyrs which is shed for a testimony to the truth, as being de- 
dicated and consecrated to the glory of God ; then apply it for 
your edification, stirring yourselves up to follow their example. 
But if you do not yet feel in yourselves such an inclination, 
pray God that he may give it you, groaning because of your 
infirmity, which holds you back from doing your duty ; for, as 
I said in the beginning, it is far too dangerous a thing to flatter 
ourselves in our infirmities. For faith cannot be long lulled to 
sleep without being at last quenched, as the example of these 
worldly-wise dissemblers shows us, who, desiring with their false 
pretences to play fast and loose with God, come at last to 
lose all knowledge of the gospel, as if they had never heard 

1560.] BULLINGER. 87 

of it. Meanwhile, since you see that the poor flock of God's 
Son is scattered by the wolves, repair to him, praying him 
have to compassion on you and strengthen your weakness, 
to stretch out his mighty arm to repel them, to shut their 
bloody mouths and break their claws, or finally to change them 
into harmless lambs. Above all, pray him to make mani- 
fest that he is seated on the right hand of God his Father 
to maintain both the honour of his majesty and the salvation 
of his children. It is in this way that you will derive 
relief from him, humbling yourselves with tears and prayers, 
and not in murmuring and gnashing your teeth against the 
tyrants, as some do who seek not the refuge to which persecu- 
tions ought to drive us. For my own part, 1 could wish that 
God had given me the means of being nearer at hand to assist 
you, but since that is not possible I will pray our merciful Fa- 
ther that since he has once confided you to the keeping of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, he would cause you to feel how safe you are 
under so good a protector, to the end that you may cast all 
your cares upon him ; and that he would be pleased to have com- 
passion on you and all those who are in affliction, delivering 
you from the hands of the ungodly. And as he has once made 
you partakers of the knowledge of the truth, that he would, 
from day to day, increase you therein, making it bring forth 
fruits to his glory. Amen. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


Complaint of the unjust proceedings of Berne with respect to Geneva, 

Geneva, 25th Jamiai-y, 1660. 

I did not dare, when I wrote to you lately, to make any men- 
tion of the injuries we are daily sufi*ering in order not to din 
your ears with vain complaints.' But our friend Prevot has 

' The settlement of the diflBculties pending hetween Berne and Geneva, (see vol. iii., 
pp. 309, 339, 348,) had heen submitted to an assembly convoked at Moudon, the 22d 
of January 1559, and presided by the arbiter of Bale. The Bernese demanded the 
execution of the sentence of the Bailiff of Ternierj the Qenevese that it should bo 

88 BULLINOER. [1560. 

done well in laying an undisguised account of thera before you. 
We give you our most hearty thanks, moreover, for having 
deigned with your well-known equity and courage resolutely to 
undertake this cause. Our society would wish, also, to testify 
in a formal manner their gratitude, but as that is not permitted 
them, they willingly acknowledge how much they are indebted 
to you. You could never believe to how many unworthy insults 
and vexations we have been exposed, during nearly a whole 
year. Nor have they proceeded against us with any colour of 
justice, but in the mere insolence of pride. At length, rendered 
somewhat favourably disposed by the blandest of admonitions, 
and even by our obsequiousness, they have shown some signs of 
relaxing their obstinacy. For they wrote that they would send 
deputies hither to arrange matters to our satisfaction. The de- 
puties arrived with a profusion of promises. But when we 
were to hold a conference, they begged to be excused, saying 
they had received no positive instructions. The deputies were 
expected two days before the arrival of our friend Prevot. It 
is thus evident that they had been watching for an opportunity 
to overreach us. For they had indicated, through their depu- 
ties, that they were pjrepared to come to an amicable adjustment 
of all the points in dispute between us. Meanwhile their con- 
ditions were intricate, doubtful, and full of ambiguity. They 
refuse to ratify any thing, unless the sentence of the arbiter of 
Bale should be previously annulled, a concession which we could 
by no means make. But because they exhorted our senate to 
send a deputation to the Swiss diet in order to recommend to 

annulled. The two parties could not come to an agreement, and the arbiter of Bale 
did not venture to pronounce judgment. On the 5th of August following, he gave 
sentence in favour of the Genevese, but the Bernese refused to submit to it, and ap- 
pealed to another tribunal, which confirmed the sentence of the arbiter, and settled 
the difference by the mutual agreement of the parties. During this long contesta- 
tion between the two cities, the property of the refugees had been sold to cover the 
expenses of justice. The Seigneury of Berne presented on this subject a last recla- 
mation to that of Geneva. 

25 Nov., 1560. — "Letter of Messieurs of Berne, by which they beg us to restore 
the property of the said condemned persons. 

"Resolved to answer them that it is impossible for us to restore to the said con- 
demned persons their pretended property, and that had there been more of it, it 
would not meet the costs and damages sustained by us." 

(Extracts from the registers of the councils.) 

1560.] FRANCIS DANIEL. 89 

them the liberties and tranquillity of this city, and that more- 
over no alliance should be concluded with the Duke of Savoy 
in which there should not be included a special proviso guaran- 
teeing to us our rights and security, tha.t point was willingly 
conceded. Nay, it had been previously decreed. But as they 
entertained suspicions of us, they wished by this recommenda- 
tion to discover what were our intentions, or if there should be 
any delay or hesitation on our part, that it might furnish them 
with a decent excuse in case they should conclude any treaty 
with Savoy to our detriment. Deputies will be sent to Baden 
accordingly. Now the advice and protection of your illustri- 
ous senate are much desired by us in this affair. It was not 
agreeable to the plan adopted T)y us that I should write to your 
senate. Instructions have consequently been given to our friend 
Prevot to be communicated to private friends which will serve 
the same purpose as far as the nature of the question will per- 
mit. I Avill not urge you and our friend Gualter at greater 
length to persist in the course of the pious office you have so 
happily commenced, as I know from the account of our brother 
and friend how much you have the matter at heart, and he him- 
self, with his well-known address, will effect more than I could 
obtain by a letter. 

Farewell, then, most excellent sir and honoured brother, along 
with M. Peter Martyr, M. Gualter, and your other colleagues. 
May the Lord protect you all, govern you by his Spirit, and 
enrich you with every blessing. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. Autog., Arch, of Zurich, Gest. VI., 166, p. 45.] 

DLIV. — To Feancis Daniel.^ 

Counsels for the education of young Daniel. 

Geneva, 13th February, 1560. 

Your son has followed his cousin to the town to which you 
ordered him to repair. You judge wisely that the disposition 

' See p. 77. Young Francis Daniel had quitted Geneva to go, at his father's re- 
quest, and study law at the University of Orleans. In writing to Calvin to thank 


90 FRANCIS DANIEL. [1560. 

of the young man requires the rein to prevent it from being 
carried away hither and thither by its natural facility ; but more 
especially that he may confine himself to one branch of study, 
and devote himself to a solid erudition, rather than ambitiously 
run over the circle of the sciences in acquiring a smattering of 
each. He has great quickness of parts, and has been tolerably 
well trained. Let only his excessive impetuousness, the common 
fault of his years, be corrected, he will produce excellent fruits. 
I am very confident of these future good results, for he has a 
great deal of modesty, and a very short period of time has 
already spontaneously given a certain maturity to his ideas. 
If you desire him to apply seriously to civil law, you will have 
to stimulate him, for otherwise he has not much taste for that 
study. The seven and twenty gold crowns which he received 
from me have been paid down to me. I was ashamed, indeed, 
to accept them when I reflected that I have been so long in 
your debt. Nor, in truth, had I been a little richer would I 
have suffered a single penny to have been paid back to me. 
But I would have you believe that I am wholly at your service, 
and the little that I possess I shall always hold at the disposal 
of you and yours. Only you will allow me to send what I have 
long purposed to do, a gold piece to each of your daughters, as 
a kind of New Year's gift, that they, at least, may have some 
slight token of my gratitude. 

Farewell, most worthy sir. May the Lord protect, govern, 
and support you and your family. — Yours, 

Charles Passelius. 

{Lat. Orig. Autog. — Library of Berne, Coll. Bongars. Vol. 141. p. 49.] 

him, the latter recalled to him the friendship which they had contracted at school: — 
"I beg you to be thoroughly persuaded of this that there is nobody who keeps up 
more faithfully and religiously than I do a friendship contracted in early youth. 
Farewell, most excellent friend. My mother and my wife salute you most cordially." 

1560.] JOHN STURM. 91 

• DLV.— To John Sturm.^ 

Severe judgment respecting the conspiracy of Amboise. 

Geneva, 23d March, 1560. 

Though during the last six weeks matters of great import- 
ance have been going forward, yet such contradictory and per- 
plexed accounts respecting them have prevailed, that having 
nothing sure to communicate to you, my uncertainty has stayed 
my hand : and now I feel ashamed to send you a letter so bar- 
ren of facts, because in such an infinite variety of subjects I 
am at a loss where to begin and where to end. When I was at 
first consulted by those who were the prime instigators in this 
business, I frankly replied that their whole manner of proceeding 
displeased me, but that the transaction itself was what incurred 
my greatest disapprobation, because what they had foolishly 
resolved they next set about childishly. At present, I regret 
their sluggishness, because I am well informed that what they 
had determined to put in execution before the 15th of March 
had not been attempted by them till five days after that period. 
Just now we are in momentary expectation of what will be the 
upshot of their boastful attempts.^ You judge rightly in thinking 

' The death of Henry II., and the accession of Francis II., the husband of Mary 
Stuart, and governed by the Guises, gave rise to grave changes in the attitude of the 
Reformers. After having undergone without a murmur for twenty-five years the 
most iniquitous persecutions, they began to ask if the passive submission which Cal- 
vin had always counselled was a duty for them in the new circumstances in which they 
were placed. The execution of Anne Dubourg. (23d December, 1559,) put the finish- 
ing stroke to their exasperation. They consulted, says the historian La Planche, the 
opinions of Jurisconsults, to know if resistance to the tyranny of the princes of Lor- 
raine was not legitimate. They formed plans of defence, to which they associated the 
King of Navarre,, and the Prince de Condfi. These terminated in the conspiracy of 
Amboise, the rash undertaking of a party maddened by persecutions, and of which 
the failure necessarily aggravated etill more the situation of the French Protestants. 
Consulted at Geneva respecting the suitableness of a rising in arms, Calvin blamed in 
the most energetic terms all recourse to force. But his words were not listened to. 

' The object ot the conspirators was to seize on the person of the King, and to sub- 
stitute in stead of the guardianship of the Guises the government of the princes of 
Bourbon favourable to the Reform. Undertaken on the 20th of March, the attempt 
failed, in consequence of the vigilance of the princes of Lorraine. In writing to 
Sturm, Calvin was yet ignorant of the death of La Renaudie, and the sad lot of the 
principal conspirators. 

92 JOHN GELLIN. [1560. 

that every thing turns upon their gaining over the King of Navarre 
to their enterprise. I have a lurking suspicion^ however, that of 
the chiefs who give themselves airs of superior address, there are 
some who are but too much inclined to ingratiate themselves into 
his favour. Before two or three days something will certainly 
transpire. Meanwhile, in certain towns of the provinces godly 
men have been emboldened to undertake more than I could have 
wished.' I had advised them not to make a public demonstra- 
tion before the royal progress of the court ; now their precipi- 
tancy will engender greater disturbances. The convulsions of 
Europe which I had in mind long anticipated are at last placed, 
as it were, before my eyes. Yet I am not' for all that so per- 
plexed as not to be prepared to undertake a journey should 
necessity require it. You will excuse the brevity and sterility 
of this letter. Should any thing worth knowing take place, I 
shall spare no expense to make you acquainted with it, that we 
may further what has been successfully commenced, and pro- 
vide against or deplore what shall have turned out unfortunately. 
I shall inform you in good time of all fitting remedies to be ap- 
plied, and if need be fly to your assistance. 

Farewell, most accomplished and respected sir. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

\Lat. Copij. — Arch, of Berne. Vol. VI., p. 854.] 

DLVI.— To John Gellin.^ 

He exhorts him to leave France in order to retire to Geneva. 

Geneva, Easter day, 1560. 

It is not indolence, my most excellent brother, which will 
occasion the brevity of my letter, but fatigue and lassitude. 
Already half my former vigour, partly from diseases, partly 
from labours, has become impaired ; nor on account of the num- 
berless occupations that almost overwhelm me, is it in my power 

' See the letter to the Church of Valence, l.*) April, 1560, p, 95. 
" To Master John Gellin at Tolose. 

1560.] JOHN GELLIN. 93 

to go beyond the circuit of the city for recreation or even to 
enjoy a brief breathing time. If now I do not simply beg you 
to excuse my silence, it is because as often as I found a safe 
opportunity of sending you a letter, I had no leisure to write 
it, and I am not in the habit of having letters ready written 
lying by me, waiting for the chance of a messenger to convey 
them. In a former letter you asked me if there might be any 
room for your services among us, and if so, you hinted that you 
would speedily hasten hither and with prompt zeal willingly 
discharge wdiatever functions should be assigned you. I by no 
means disapprove of your intention, but I would not have you 
ignorant of our manner of proceeding in never calling in any 
one from foreign parts, when we have fitting persons at hand. 
But I would spare no good ofiices of mine to promote your 
interest, if after you proceeded hither, your health permitted you 
to prolong your stay among us ; and in one word that you may 
see that I am pledging myself heartily, I am induced to do this, 
not only from considerations of your being a countryman, but 
also from the ties of afiinity. Moreover, I think I have dis- 
covered in you marks of piety and disinterested aifection, con- 
joined with modesty, to say nothing of your erudition, which, 
nevertheless, also deservedly conciliates good will towards you. 
Again, when you consult me, now that your father is dead, about 
the line of conduct which I think you ought to hold, the impor- 
tunate entreaties of your relations are calling you back to your 
native place; on the other hand your widowed mother is urging 
your return, who both by her natural claims and her tears ap- 
peals to your filial piety. It is cruel to refuse her, especially as 
she is burdened with other children and distracted by a variety 
of cares, as is usually the lot of widows. Of her purpose there 
can be no doubt. She claims you to aid her in the management 
of her household — that the sorrow she has conceived from the 
death of your father, may by your presence be alleviated; in a 
word that she may transfer to you the direction of all her 
domestic affairs, and that you may contribute, in part at least, 
by your forensic gains to the support of the family. I am not 
indeed so barbarous as peremptorily to exhort you to forsake her. 
But what God has suggested to your mind, take care you weigh 

94 JOHN GELLIN. [1560. 

more diligently, lest you entangle yourself in snares of such a 
kind as it may not be easy to extricate yourself from afterwards. 
And grant that you escape, yet this will neither be very speedily, 
nor without running imminent risk, perhaps not without falling 
away altogether from religion. 

No sooner shall you have entered your native city than ac- 
cording to the wonted rudeness of our nation, the eyes of all 
will be fixed on you to see whether you comply with the public 
usages, whether you will have masses said for your deceased 
father, whether you be sufiiciently superstitious. If they re- 
mark in you any deviation from common custom, then you are 
the object of universal obloquy. Should the obligations of your 
duty drag you thither, better would it be to shut your eyes, than 
from fear of dangers to withdraw yourself from the commands 
of God. For what is this but rashly to expose yourself to tempt 
God. Beware, then, lest he, withdrawing his helping hand, 
should punish your temerity. If in so embarrassing a matter 
you are held in too great suspense, and as it is difficult to com- 
prise in a letter addressed to you where you are now resident all 
the considerations which would require to be examined on both 
sides, I think you would do well to come here forthwith, and 
before your views suffer any change — just as you have already 
signified that you wished to do. Then by weighing all the 
reasons for and against any decision, we may be able by the 
guidance of God to resolve upon something. 

Farewell, my most excellent and well beloved brother. May 
the Lord govern you by his Spirit and accompany you with 
every blessing. — Yours, 

Charles Passelius. 

Salute in my name all the godly who are in your parts. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Paris, Bupuy, 102.] 


DLVII.— To THE Church of Valence.^ 

Christian exhortations — The sending of a pastor. 

Geneva, 15^^. April, 1560. 

The love of God the Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ be always with you, by the communication of the Holy 

Beloved Seigneurs and Brethren: — Since it has pleased 
God that matters have come to such a crisis among you, you 
must prepare yourselves to maintain great combats, as there is 
no doubt but ere long Satan will stir them up against you, and 
he is already setting his agents to work to plot the destruction 
of the whole edifice of God. But whatever be the result, you 
have to fortify yourselves, not to resist the rage of the enemy 
by the aid of the fleshly arm, but to maintain with constancy 
the truth of the gospel in which consists our salvation, and the 
service and honour of God, which we are bound to honour more 
than our own bodies and souls. We cannot do better than pray 
with you that our heavenly Father would keep you under his 
protection. For indeed when you shall be assailed it will not 

' The seat of a celebrated university, and of a bishopric administered by a tolerant 
prelate, John de Monluc, Valence could early boast of many persons professing the 
Reformed faith who assembled in secret in the suburbs of the town. Founded in 
1559 by an old advocate of Metz, Peter Brusld, confirmed by the preaching of Gilles 
Solas, and of an Angevin nobleman named Lancelot, the Church of Valence had a 
turbulent and stormy origin. — "As to Dauphiny, says Beza, there were terrible con- 
vulsions which began first at Valence. For some petulant spirits who were not 
satisfied with a moderate and peaceable state of things, wished to make a public de- 
monstration; others were averse to it. Thus began their divisions and the source 
•whence sprung much mischief afterwards." — The most ardent party, composed of noble- 
men and students in 1560, in spite of the consistory seized upon the church of the 
Cordeliers, installed their ministers in it, and kept an armed watch around the meet- 
ings. These imprudent acts, imitated at Romans, at Montelimart, and severely 
blamed at Geneva, produced sad reprisals. Maugiron, lieutenant of the Duke of 
Guise, having entered the town by surprise caused two of the ministers to be be- 
headed, and three of the principal citizens to be hanged as fomentors of sedition. 
This was the origin of the long troubles which agitated the whole country, and which 
preceded the breaking out of the civil wars in Dauphiny. HUt. Eccl., vol. i. p. 219, 
342, and the following: D'Aubigne, Hist. Univ. L. ii., and de Thou, L. xxv. 


be long before the blows will fall upon us. But he who holds 
our life and death in his hand will discomfit all the efforts of 
those who hate us, only because we are his followers. This re- 
source should suffice to prevent vou from ever being thrown into 
consternation. In the mean time in compliance with your request, 
we have selected the brother who is now on his way to you.* 
He has heretofore faithfully laboured in the work of the Lord. 
I trust he will continue to do so in the time to come, and that 
God will reap such fruits from his labours that his name shall 
be glorified by them, and all of us have reason to rejoice. 

Whereupon we pray God to have you in his holy keeping, to 
animate you with invincible constancy, and increase in you the 
gifts of his Holy Spirit. 

[Ft. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DLVIII. — To THE Church of Montelimart.^ 

Eulogy of the Minister Francis de St. Paul — Prudent counsels. 

Geneva, April, 1560. 

Beloved seigneurs and brethren, as we bless God for the good 
pleasure he has bestowed on you to assemble youi'selves in his 

' The minister Lancelot, originally from Anjou. 

" Without date. April, 1560. At the period in which, according to the expression 
of Beza, the churches were multiplied- with astonishing ardour in the towns and vil- 
lages of Dauphiny, "those of Montelimart also, succoured by the seneschal of the 
country of Valentinois, named Bourjac, and directed by a cordelier, named Frere Tem- 
peste, who preached the truth with sufficient boldness in his Monk's frock, established 
their church by the ministry of Francis de St. Paul, also sent to them by Geneva." 
Hiet. EccL, vol. i., pp. 219 and 343. It is the minister whom Calvin mentions in his 
letter to the brethren of Montelimart. Renowned for his learning and eloquence, 
which rendered him worthy of taking a part in the conferences of Poissy, Francis de 
St. Paul had been pastor of the French Church at Berne, and a preacher of the Re- 
formation in Saintonge and Poitou. The troubles which broke out in Dauphiny, in 
1560, did not permit him to make a long stay at Montelimart, which he was obliged 
to quit the following year, in order to comply with the call of the Church of Dieppe. 
The gospel continued not the less to make progress in this country, as is proved by a 
letter of the synod of Valence to the society of Geneva of the 8th June, 1562 : — 
"As the zeal for the service of God which we perceive in the people of this country 
gives us infinite delight, so we cannot think of the want we have of pastors, nor 


name, to call upon him, and be instructed and confirmed in the 
doctrine of salvation, so we have not wished to be awanting 
on our part to aid you in that purpose, as far as our means per- 
mit us. Now as we have been informed that it was necessary 
to send you a man of competent learning and prudence, we 
have requested the bearer of the present letter to take upon him 
this office, because we had no one at our disposal who, in our 
judgment, is better calculated to give you satisfaction, which 
however we had rather that you should know from experience, 
than we should enter into longer details on that subject. And 
the same motives induced us also to press this service more 
urgently upon him ; for, in truth, he had some reasons which 
might have excused him had he declined it ; but in fine he con- 
sented to devote his labours to you on the conditions which we 
found and judged to be equitable, among which the principal is, 
that he may be at liberty to return to another church towards 
which he has contracted obligations, provided it please God of 
his infinite goodness to remedy the dispersion which has taken 
place in it.^ For though according to men he might quit those 
who had conducted themselves in a dastardly manner in the 
hour of trial, yet according to the duty of a true and faithful 
servant of Jesus Christ, he withdrew from them only for a time, 
oiferincr to return when the flock should be reassembled. Not 
to give occasion then to those who are but too weak, to become 
lukewarm, or altogether alienated from the truth, we have not 
dared to insist farther than that he should go and minister to you 
as long as it might be in his power, Avithout doing any wrong to 
those who are still counting on his services. Thus we beg you not 
to take it amiss if you have only, as it were, a loan of him, and let 
him not be accused of inconstancy should he be forced to per- 
form the promise which he has made elsewhere. This neces- 

hear the lamentations of the poor people without great sadness. For in this jyrovince, 
Vjhere a thousand ministers would not suffice, there are scarcely forty." — MSS. of Ge- 
neva, Portfolio I. See also (vol. 196) two letters of the Church of Montelimart to 
Calvin, of the 18th July 1561, and of the 29th Mnrch, 1562. 

'Is it the church of Poitiers? We read in the registers of the society, March, 
1569: — "About that time Mr. Francis de St. Paul was chosen to go and preach the 
gospel at Poitiers, instead of M. de Brueil." But Beza does not mention any disper- 
sion in the history of this church in 1560. 



sity falling out, however, we shall not fail to provide for you as 
well as God shall permit us. And we hope that he will not 
fail you withal in your need, but that he will guide you more- 
over by his Spirit to choose such a man as shall be useful to 
you. There is another circumstance which I must mention ; it 
is that the person who is now on his way to you cannot remain 
long absent from his wife, because for the service of the church 
he has already left her for a long time in bad health, and should 
he continue to do so, he might be esteemed not very humane. 
Wherefore, should it please God that he take up his residence 
with you, it will be necessary for him to send for his wife and his 
household furniture that he may be at greater liberty to acquit 
himself of his functions. Meanwhile we beg you affectionately 
to take into consideration their support, as each of you may 
easily conceive what must be the regret of a Christian man in 
quitting his family and leaving it in penury and want. For we 
can testify that he has never heaped up the goods of this world, 
so that should they not be succoured by you, his wife and chil- 
dren would be reduced to suffer hunger and thirst during his 
absence. But as we are convinced that you will be disposed of 
your own accord to act with perfect humanity in this respect, it 
is sufficient for us to have reminded you. What is of most im- 
portance is, that you welcome him as being addressed to you by 
Jesus Christ to bring to you the uncorrupted truth of the gos- 
pel, which is that inestimable treasure in which lies all the per- 
fection of felicity. For, in truth, this is also what he aims at, 
and above all desires to witness the fruits of his labour, when 
he shall faithfully bestow his pains on the work of your salva^ 
tion. Now, if you show such reverence as you ought for the 
word of God, which he will announce to you, we trust that you 
will not fail in any thing else. 

To conclude, inasmuch as the brother you have sent to us 
gives us to understand that you are deliberating about esta- 
blishing ere long the public preaching of the word among you, 
we entreat you to abstain from that purpose, and not to think 
of it till God give you a better opportunity. It is true, that 
this advice is dictated by a desire to spare you. But at the 
same time we do not see that you are called upon to hazard 


SO premature a step.' On the contrary, it seems to us that 
it is quite sufficient that you should endeavour and put forth 
all your efforts to increase the flock, collect the poor scattered 
sheep, and in the meantime refrain from all public demonstra- 
tions, by making no innovations respecting the temples, pro- 
vided only you keep yourselves separated from the pollutions 
that are committed in them. When you shall hold your assem- 
blies peaceably in private dwellings, at least the rage of your 
enemies will not be so speedily inflamed, and you will render to 
God what he requires of you; namely, to glorify his name in 
purity and preserve yourselves undefiled from all superstitions 
until it please him to open for you a wider door. Whereupon 
we supplicate him, beloved seigneurs and brethren, to govern 
you by his Spirit with such prudence, virtue, and simplicity as 
he shall see fit, and in the meantime to have you in his holy 
keeping, and fortify you with such perseverance that at the last 
we may be gathered together into his eternal rest. 

[Fr. Orig. Minute. — Idbrary of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLIX. — To THE Bishop of London.^ 

Kecommendation of the French Church of London — Eulogium of Des Qallars — Wish 
for a complete Reform of the Anglican Church. 

Geneva, 3Iay, 1560. 
Though you do not expect me to thank you for an office of 
piety performed by you to the Church of Chi'ist, yet the case is 

' The prudent counsels of the Reformer were unfortunately not listened to. The 
minister Francis de St. Paul was seditiously installed in the church of the Cordeliers, 
and the Reformers of Montelimart, like those of Valence and Romans, kept an armed 
watch around their pastor. " If the wisdom of the better advised, says Beza, had 
been able to overcome the impatience of some, there is much likelihood that by far 
the greater part of the country would have come over to the sound doctrine of their 
own accord, and their affairs would have taken a much more favourable turn." 

"Without date — May 1560. We get the date of this letter from that of the letter 
from the French Church in London to Calvin asking for a pastor, in which they 
say: "What a glory would be added, not only to the foreign churches, but also 
to the Anglican, if Viret or Th. Beza or Nicholas des Gallars should join himself 
to us !" March, 28th 1560, Dtipuy, vol. 102. The Bishop of London had accompanied 
this request with the most urgent recommendations. A refugee on the continent during 


different witli regard to the protection -whicli you have deigned 
to afford those of our countrymen who inhabit the principal 
city of your diocese. By your cares, they have had permission, 
through the indulgence of the queen, not only to invoke God in 
purity, but also to send over to us a demand for a faithful 
pastor ; if then for these acts of kindness, I did not profess my- 
self bound to you, I should be deservedly chargeable with folly 
and a want of common courtesy. And since you have not 
hesitated of your own free impulse to ask and' entreat me to see 
that a fitting pastor should be selected for my countrymen, I 
have no need to recommend to your fidelity and protection the 
persons for whose salvation you are so solicitous. And as- 
suredly as, in assisting them so liberally up to this moment, you 
have given a rare and singular proof of your pious zeal, so now 
you will of your constancy in continuing your good offices to the 
end. In what concerns ourselves, both because the situation 
seemed to require a man furnished with eminent gifts, and 
because the foreigners among you particularly desired that one 
of our society should be accorded to them, we have preferred to 
despoil ourselves rather than not comply with so holy a desire. 
For that reason we have granted to their request our brother 
Nicholas des Gallars one of the three whom they themselves 
named in the beginning.^ Now though it was painful for him 
to be torn away from us whom he knew to entertain no ordinary 
degree of affection for him, and though he quitted with reluc- 

the reign of the intolerant Mary, Edmond Grindal had learned how to appreciate 
the Reformers of Swisserland and professed for Calvin the most atFectionate admiration. 
He wrote to him in 1563 : " Our church and nation are greatly indebted to you, illustrious 
lirother, ... it is then with the deepest sorrow we have learned the deplorable state 
of your health- Most assuredly it is the excess of your labours that has occasioned 
this illness. Renounce then these prolonged vigils, otherwise the evil will increase, 
and you will no longer be of such utility to the church. Recall to your recollection 
Gregory of Nazianzen, who, as he advanced in age being unwilling to relax from the 
austerity of his youth, was forced almost always to keep his bed, and thereby became 
less useful. Since you and Biillinger remain almost alone among the pillars of the 
house of God, we desire to enjoy you, if the Lord shall think fit, as long as possible." 
{^Library of Geneva, vol. 113.) 

'Nicholas des Gallars was elected (the 26th April, 1560) minister of the French 
Church of London. On the 3d of May he took leave of the Seigneurs of Geneva. 
" The Lord," sny the Registers of Geneva, " has seen fit to make use of him for his 
own glory and our joy and consolation." 


tance a station in wliicli he had long rendered services not less 
productive than faithfully performed, yet vanquished by our 
entreaties he has undertaken this office, because he hoped that 
he should thus contribute in no small degree to the spread of 
the kingdom of Christ. 

Certainly nothing but necessity could have wrung from us our 
consent to be separated from him, but we feared that it was not 
possible otherwise than by his arrival among you to provide for 
the wants of a rising, and as yet but imperfectly organized 
church. For this place will incur no slight loss by his departure, 
where he was held in high esteem, and where he bore himself in 
a manner worthy of a servant of Christ. As far as my personal 
feelings are concerned, the greatest intimacy and affection 
having subsisted between us, I did not without the most poignant 
sorrow give ray consent to this disruption of our familiar inter- 
course. But everything was to be endured rather than refuse 
the aid so anxiously implored by our destitute and distressed 

Wherefore I feel the greater solicitude, that he should at least 
find among you a welcome station to alleviate and solace his 
sorrow at quitting his country. When a closer connection, 
which your natural courtesy makes me confidently expect, shall 
have revealed to you his real character, you will be sufficiently 
convinced. Reverend Sir, without any foreign recommendation, 
how worthy he is of your affection. In the mean time if I hold 
any place in your esteem, I entreat you again and again to 
honour with your favour and kindness a man whom you see to 
be so cherished by me. 

It is a matter of deep regret that the churches of your whole 
kingdom have not yet been organized as all good men could 
wish, and as in the beginning they had hoped.' But to over- 
come all difficulties there is need of unflagging efforts. Then 
indeed it is expedient and even absolutely necessary that the 
queen should discriminate, and you in your turn should lay 
aside, nay, cast from you entirely whatever savours of earthly 

' This regret was shared in by Grindal himself. In his letter to Calvin of the 18th 
March, 1560, we read : " I commend to your prayers, and those of the other brethren, 
the state of our churches, not yet settled sufficiently according to our mind." 


domination, in order that for the exercise of a spiritual office 
you may have a legitimate authority and such as shall be bestowed 
on you by Grod. This indeed will be her supremacy and pre- 
eminence; then she will hold the highest rank of dignity under 
Christ our head, if she stretch forth a helping hand to legitimate 
pastors, for the execution of those functions that have been en- 
joined us. But as neither your wisdom stands in need of 
counsel, nor your magnanimity of incitements, I shall only have 
recourse to prayers, and supplicate God, my most excellent and 
honoured sir, to govern you by his Spirit, sustain you by his 
power, shield you with his protection and bless all your holy 

All my colleagues most respectfully salute your reverence. 
[Lat. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.\ 

DLX. — To Charles Utenhoven.^ 

Tokens of lively interest for the French Church of London — Perils of Geneva. 

Geneva, May, 1560. 

I trust that the French Church in your parts, for which you 
had so anxiously solicited us, has been well provided for. To 
us, indeed, it was a severe trial to be deprived of Nicholas des 
Gallars, who has hitherto proved himself a faithful colleague 
and fellow-worker with us, but since you are of opinion that 
among you he will reap a more abundant harvest of his labours, 
we dared not let pass this opportunity. It is to me a source of 
great joy that liberty has been restored to you. The protec- 
tion of the Bishop, moreover, will be of no small service to you 
in all your affairs, for the man who held that dignity in the time 
of King Edward, being too much addicted to empty pomps, was 
not sufficiently propitious to you. I have also endeavoured by 
a letter to confirm his favourable dispositions towards you, and 
such is his natural kindliness that I have the satisfaction of 

' Charles Utenhoven, sprung from a noble family of the Low Countries, and one of 
the elders of the Church of the French Protestants in London. Wliile John Uten- 
hoven, his brother, had followed Laski to Poland, he had not quitted England. 



knowing that I have not lost my pains. As the Earl of Bed- 
ford had testified by words that he had the greatest inclination 
to serve you, I have exhorted him' to continue to watch over 
both churches, and to show to the foreigners any ofiices of kind- 
ness that might be in his power. It afi'orded me pleasure that 
you found an opportunity of making Lord Burleigh^ acquainted 
with my apology respecting the pamphlet. Though to confess 
frankly the truth, I am not under any great uneasiness about 
conciliating court favour. Some ill-disposed person by a mali- 
cious whisper exposed me to obloquy. The slander was but too 
eagerly received. If the truth is admitted, I esteem my cha- 
racter sufficiently vindicated ; if not, there are other things 
which as they touch me more closely so they give me greater 
uneasiness. For that we still exist safe and sound is a thing 
incredible to all, since we were condemned long ago by the 
judgment of the whole of France, Germany, and Italy ; and 
those who had fairly given us up as ruined are astonished that 
we have not perished a hundred times. Add to this, that if this 
church is still flourishing, or at least undisturbed, all the odium 
falls upon my head. Thus it is necessary for me to harden my 
heart towards both parties. It is my wish, indeed, to be ser- 
viceable to others, but only indeed according to the measure of 
my ability. Meanwhile I shall always cherish with an undis- 
turbed mind those in whom I perceive the seeds of piety, and 
even should they not reciprocate my feelings, I shall never suf- 
fer myself to be alienated from them. It would be absurd to 
prolong my letter any further, since a common friend and bro- 
ther is to be the bearer of it, who, though he should be charged 
with no commissions by me, will nevertheless carry along with 
him the mind of the writer. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

' See a second letter addressed to this nobleman, (June, 1660.) 
" See the letter to Cecil, p. 46. 

104 BULLINGER. [1560. 


Renewed disapprobation of the conspiracy of Amboise — Account of the intrigues of 
Renaudie at Geneva — ^Vain opposition of Calvin. 

Geneva, 11th May, 1560. 

Lest any contention should spring up between us, venerable 
and dearest brother, I will not touch on the subject which I 
perceive is so distasteful to you,^ provided always that a har- 
mony of views subsist between us respecting the principal points 
of doctrine. In other matters, let each of us leave the judg- 
ment of the other unfettered. What I deemed right and use- 
ful I have endeavoured to persuade you to, but since my free- 
dom has given offence it is better to forbear. One thing only 1 
should wish you to bear in mind ; it is that I have long ago de- 
spaired of those creatures who ape Luther, nor is much reliance 
to be placed on James Andr^ and such like persons. But what 
wrings my heart is that brethren united to us in the faith should 
be oppressed by a barbarous tyranny, nor yet find any succour to 
alleviate their distress. For how many, think you, are there who 
with silent prayers desire a helping hand to be held out to them, 
and groan to find themselves deserted by us ! But I pass to other 

You have not hesitated to repel the odious charges brought 
against us of fomenting the insurrectionary movement in France.'^ 
You might do so with a safe conscience. When eight months 
ago these designs began to be agitated, I interposed my authority 
to prevent them from proceeding further, secretly and quietly 
it is true, because I feared if any report about the affair should 
reach the ears of the enemy, lest I should be dragging all the 
godly to a horrid butchery. I fancied, however, that all vio- 
lent movements had been quashed and even quieted down, till 
an individual of no personal merit came to me from France and 

' Allusion to the reiterated efiForts of Calvin to bring about a better intelligence be- 
tween the Church of Zurich and those of Germany, and thus provoke a concerted 
action between the Swiss Cantons and the Lutheran princes in favour of the French 
Protestants. See vol. iii., p. -ilO. 2 To suppress the conspiracy of Amboise. 

1560.] BULLINGEK. 105 

boasted that lie had been appointed the leader of the enterprise.' 
I immediately, however, put a stop to his bragging, and pro- 
fessed my utter abhorrence of his conspiracy. The next day, 
this needy wretch, who was hunting in all directions for booty, 
that he might catch in his nets a rich friend, and under pretext 
of a public collection, scrape together a good round sum of 
money, told a barefaced lie, declaring that I did not disapprove 
of the conspiracy, but that to avoid odium I declined to take any 
public part in it. Suddenly roused upon hearing this, and call- 
ing together my colleagues, I sharply exposed his groundless 
assertions. More than that, I demonstrated that he himself before 
he left Paris had been most distinctly informed, how perfectly 
averse I was to that project. But though it was everywhere 
known that he was an object of suspicion to me, yet as he lived 
at Lausanne on account of its vicinity, and as he had a caress- 
ing manner, and was versed in the art of cajoling, he won the 
affection of many among us, so that in the space of three days, 
his principles corrupted this city as if it were by contagion. 
Many men among the nobility, as well as among the lower classes 
and the working people, began to hold secret meetings, not so 
peaceably, however, but the din of them reached my ears. How 
greatly this conspiracy displeased me, I took care to demonstrate 
both in public and in private, and without any dissimulation. 
When I gained nothing by these proceedings, I complained that 
our body possessed so little authority that in a matter so deeply 
important our advice was despised. A hundred times I declared 
that this was a new kind of fascination ; of the sorrowful issue I 
made such predictions that many almost repented of their folly. 
I entreat you then that, with your wonted kindness and for the 
sake of our mutual friendship, you will go on without any mis- 
givings in vindicating our character. The other details you 
may ask from M. Peter Martyr, for a headache prevents me 
from spinning out my discourse any further. For the same 
reason I shall be obliged to claim the indulgence of our ex- 
cellent brother, M. Wolf, for not having written an answer to 
his letter. In my name you will thank him for the labour he 

• Godfrey du Barry, Sieur de la Eenaudie. 


106 PETER MARTYR. [1560. 

lias undertaken in my favour, and you will salute both him and 
your other fellow-pastors. 

Farewell, distinguished sir and honoured brother. May the 
Lord govern, protect, and support you — and bless you and your 
whole family. Amen. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Orig. autogr. — Arch, of Zurich, GaUicana ScHjpta, p. 46.] 

DLXII.— To Peter Martyr. 

Reverts to the conspiracy of Amboise— Troubles in France— Dangers of Geneva, 

Geneva, l]«fc May, 1560. 

You will pardon, most accomplished sir, my prolonged silence. 
For six whole months overcome by a concentrated sorrow, I 
have abstained from writing letters, unless perhaps some which 
necessity wrung from me. The cause of this sorrow was the 
inconsiderate zeal of the men of our party, who imagined they 
could obtain by disorder the liberty which was to be sought for 
by other measures. Already eight months ago they had asked 
my opinion. I fancied they had been brought to a sounder 
mind by my one answer. Some time afterwards (too late, 
however, for there was now no room for a remedy) I asked them 
what, having repudiated my advice, they counted upon doing. 
About sixty persons have left this place notwithstanding my 
remonstrances.! I told them plainly that they were under the 
influence of a kind of fascination. 

They attempted to show that they had not taken up arms 
rashly, by saying that a promise had been made them by one 
of the princes,'^ who by the ancient usage of the kingdom and 
its written laws claims as his right, during the absence of his 
brother, the highest rank in the supreme council. For it had 
been agreed upon that he should present to the king the con- 

' Among the noblemen who left Geneva, people remarked the Seigneurs of Castel- 
naud and of Villemongis, who were destined to perish miserably on the scaffold at 

' The Prince of Conde. 

1560.] PETER MARTYR. 107 

fession that had been drawn up among us, and that if the parti- 
sans of Guise should offer any violence, or make his action the 
subject of a criminal accusation, as many persons as possible 
should be prepared to undertake his defence. But not even 
this plausible pretext satisfied me at first, unless they should be 
perfectly on their guard not to shed blood, for I declared it to 
be an inevitable consequence that from a single drop would im- 
mediately flow streams that would inundate France. But the 
affair undertaken with imprudence was still worse managed ; and 
certainly one worthless fellow, who had audaciously thrust him- 
self into the business, occasioned the ruin of all by his foolish- 
ness. But though nothing has fallen out which I did not anti- 
cipate, it affords no consolation of a future disaster to have 
foreseen it, or to speak more correctly, that men predestined to 
a manifest and distinctly announced destruction should have 
been at last precipitated into ruin by a too tardy movement. 
Had not the measure been opposed, our people would have taken 
forcible possession of the churches, as was done in Dauphiny. 
But in their manner of acting there was the same thoughtless 
giddiness. Those who listened to my advice still hold out and 
are prepared to meet death courageously. There was not the 
same moderate conduct everywhere, for in a celebrated faubourg 
of Paris, in the presence of an immense concourse of people, the 
Cardinal was hanged in efiigy, and when by an order of the 
parliament, archers of the guard were sent to put an end to this 
ignominious exhibition, means were found secretly to set fire to 
the gibbet which was consumed along with the effigy. Procla- 
mations against the house of Guise are hawked up and down, 
and daily published in the principal cities. These are the be- 
ginnings of sorrows, as far as the French are concerned, but 
they also for the most part bode no good to us. Nevertheless 
we await with calm what the Lord shall determine. Perils are 
staring us in the face, when powerful bodies of troops are every- 
where being armed, but because we know that we are under the 
Lord's protection we keep watch and abstain from tumult. 

The young men whom you recommended to me will feel how 
highly both I and my fellow-pastors value your recommenda- 
tion. They have found, I hope, a very suitable lodging. 

108 STURM AND HOTMAN. [1560. 

Farewell, my ever honoured brother. May the Lord always 
stand by you, govern, protect, and bless you along with your 
wife, whom as well as our brethren, M. Gualter and the others, 
I most cordially salute. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Paris, Recueil, Hist. t. xix. p. 29.] 

DLXIII. — To Stukm and Hotman.^ 

Treacherous policy of the Guises — New appeal addressed to the German Princes- 
Petition to the king. 

Geneva, ith June, 1560. 

Although for a season we have been almost paralyzed by 
sorrow, nevertheless the unhappy condition of our brethren com- 
pels our grief to break out into action, both because the most 
urgent necessity stimulates us, and an opportunity not to be 
despised seems to present itself. The party of the Guises have 
been struck with a certain degree of consternation, which may 
wring from them at least some relaxation of their rigour and 
cruelty; and it is probable that the defeat which the Spaniard 
has lately suffered in a naval engagement, has produced such 
an effect on their minds that they will bridle in for some time 
their wonted ferocity. Meanwhile, whatever concessions have 

'The edict of Romorantin, which soon followed the conspiracy of Amboise, had 
displeased all parties in France (May 1560). The Guises wore preparing to strike a 
new blow at the Reformed, and endeavoured to enrol against them the German Reitrts 
of whom they had convoked the chiefs at Meiningen. To dissipate this peril, Calvin 
warmly urged Sturm to exhort the German princes to send an embassy to the king. It 
was to advise him to re-establish peace, not by violence and punishments, but in correct- 
ing the abuses of the church, and thus preparing by a moderate reform the conciliation 
of hostile minds. But could tho Guises, absolute masters of the king and chiefs of the 
Catholic party, possibly consent to any concessions of which the first result would 
have been to draw on their own ruin? Was the queen mother Catharine de Medicis 
sincere in the promise she had made to convoke a council to put a term to the troubles 
of France ? Was the intervention of the German Princes, in fine, likely to be more 
favourably received than had been tho petitions of the churches and the counsels of 
moderate men, at the head of whom the Chancellor L'Hopital was soon about to place 
bimiielf ? « 

1560.] STURM AND HOTMAN. 109 

been made to the godly, we cannot but see have been yielded 
with a fraudulent and insidious intention, that their enemies, 
having first secured a state of greater tranquillity, may ere long 
crush them when off their guard with much greater facility. 
Certainly nothing can be more fluctuating than their conduct 
in its inconstancy. Witness their virulence, which, however 
carefully they disguise it, always betrays itself by numerous 

It is for that reason that we have need of an external remedy, 
and we hope to be able to obtain it by your co-operation, pro- 
vided only you make a slight effort. But it would not only be 
superfluous but absurd to urge you too vehemently to do us this 
service, for we are by no means unacquainted with your pious 
solicitude for the welfare of our brethren, and with the ardour 
of your zeal. Now this is the point in question — that the 
German princes by a solemn embassy should partly supplicate, 
partly exhort the king, that as the best means of appeasing dis- 
turbances he should resolve not to strike terror with fire and 
sword, but to purge the church of its corruptions and settle it 
on a better foundation. For it is quite impossible that without 
some sufficient reformation so many thousands of men will ever 
hold their peace. But that you may have a clearer conception 
of what we desire, we have thought proper to write out on a 
separate sheet the very formula of our petition. Moreover 
while you shall be engaged in this undertaking, we will make it our 
business by all the means in our power to rouse the King of 
Navarre to claim the regency of the kingdom that had been 
wrested out of his hands,^ nor will he want a pretext for his 
demand, for it is notorious that the kingdom is in jeopardy from 
these commotions, and is every day on the brink of ruin from 
the perfidy or supineness of the Guises, nor can their arrogance 
and avarice be any longer endured without involving everything 
in destruction. 

' All the efforts that had been tried till then to stir up the King of Navarre and in- 
spire him with energetic resolutions had been useless. Hotman wrote to Bullinger 
the 2nd Sept., 1559. " The King of Navarre has most miserably disappointed the 
hopes of all. If you knew how earnestly he has been admonished, what conditions 
have been offered him, what subsidies placed at his disposal, and with what sluggish- 
ness he has slighted them all, you would be truly astonished," 

110 STURM AND HOTMAN. [1560. 

Certainly unless I am deceived, the king's council, when they 
shall feel themselves reduced to such straits, will be roused from 
their lethargy to consult for the public safety. Above all, the 
queen mother must be goaded on by the sharpest stimulants to 
act along with us, for unless by force it will never be possible 
to detach her from the party of the Guises. Nevertheless, she 
will adhere to whatever she is persuaded will be for the ad- 
vantage of herself and her children. Other details you will 
learn from the messengers, who, when you shall have made their 
acquaintance, will stand in need of no recommendation; and for 
the cause itself we know that as a matter of course it brings its 
own recommendation along with it in your eyes no less than in 

Farewell, then, most acccomplished and highly esteemed sirs. 
May the Lord sustain you by his power, govern you by his 
Spirit,' and bestow on you every blessing. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

What follows is in the handwriting of Theodore Beza : 
This seems a fitting moment for the most illustrious princes 
to send an embassy to the king, for though the faction of the 
Guises are still possessed by the same obstinacy, and there are 
but small hopes of their being brought to equity, yet as the fear 
with which they have been struck has troubled their reason, so 
it will compel them to put on at least some appearances of 
moderation. But as matters now stand in France, if they should 
make ever so small a concession, and abate somewhat of their 
rigour towards their adversaries, the pure religion would in a 
very brief space of time acquire such a strength as it would not 
be in the power of all its enemies afterwards to diminish. If 
the most illustrious princes then have ever taken an interest in 
the welfare of the French, who profess a zeal for true piety, 
now an opportunity is offered them by Divine providence, 
of making use of their authority for the succour of these 
afflicted men. To procrastinate on the contrary and attempt 
no remedy, would be highly dangerous, because as often as the 
Guises see a certain calm re-established, they again commence 
to give vent to their rage with the same license as before. Be- 


sides, unless our friends be spurred to action anew, whatever 
the council of the king has promised will end in nothing. There 
is a necessity for us then to ply our task sedulously, lest the 
evil should gain such ground as no longer to admit of a remedy. 
Now the following summary of our petition, if it meet with 
the approbation of the most illustrious princes, will be highly 

First of all, then, it would be desirable that they should de- 
clare their extreme satisfaction and offer their congratulations 
to the king, because he has decided upon convoking a council 
for the purpose of removing the abuses and corruptions with 
which it is notorious that all the sincere worshippers of Grod are 
so much scandalized, that they would rather a thousand times 
suffer death than pine away for ever amid such pollutions ; for 
that this is the only means by which all troubles can be quieted, 
the issue of which will be disastrous unless his majesty provide 
a remedy before it be too late. 

In the next place, the deputation might proceed to expose 
that the most illustrious princes exhort the king and his coun- 
cil not to desist from so just and advantageous a purpose, though 
in thus exhorting them they refrain from offering their services, 
inasmuch as they are an object of suspicion to the Popish priest- 
hood ; that nevertheless they most ardently desire to confederate 
to the extent of their ability in the furtherance of this cause, 
and that in any matter in which the king may deem their good 
offices of any utility to him, he may confidently count on them. 

In the. third place, the deputies may state that they have un- 
dertaken this journey chiefly for two reasons — to consult first 
for the security and tranquillity of the king and for the public 
welfare ; that the illustrious princes are of opinion that this 
object cannot be secured otherwise than by the abolition of 
superstitions, which exasperate the minds of all good men to 
such a degree that they hold their own lives cheap in compari- 
son with the legitimate worship of God, and should deem them- 
selves traitors did they even manifest a semblance of assent to 
what their conscience repudiates; that the second object of 
their mission is to represent that persons should not be treated 
with rigour who worship God in purity, and keep themselves 

112 JOHN LUSEN. [1560. 

apart from the defilements of Poperj ; on the contrary, if they 
are obedient to the king, as their duty requires, and stir up no 
troubles, but confine themselves in their private capacity to the 
observance of the faith which they have embraced, that they 
should be tolerated till a reformation of the universal church 
by fitting remedies be provided for. 

If the king as well as his council shall deign to take into 
consideration this representation, tliat then the most illustrious 
princes are already disposed and will most cordially hold them, 
selves prepared to lend him their aid ; but if, on the contrary, 
he deal harshly with his subjects, and refuse all just reforms, 
that they cannot but fear the most unhappy results ; and for that 
reason, as well as for the good-will and profound respect which 
they entertain for the king and kingdom of France, they not 
only advise but beg and implore, that he will not neglect so ex- 
cellent an opportunity of establishing peace on a firm basis, in 
continuing to struggle against necessity. 

[Lat. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLXIV.— To John Lusen.' 

Anxieties about the Churches of Poland — Refutation of the errors of Stancari. 

Geneva, 9th June, 1560. 

You write to us, honoured brother in the Lord, that Versrerio 
keeps gadding up and down, and poisoning with his admix- 
tures the pure doctrines of religion. Respecting his conduct, 
complaints had long ago been made to us both by John Laski 
and others, who do not approve of such subtile devices. But 
since it does not belong to us to impose silence on a man na- 
turally inclined to crooked ways, we have only to entreat God to 
check his career. The Seigneur Palatine of AVilna should also 
be put in mind to guard against his insidious arts, a task which 
we were just on the point of undertaking, had time permitted ; 
though as he is a silly, meddlesome creature, he can scarcely 

' On the hack : To John Lusen, Minister of a Church in Poland. 

1560.] JOHN LUSEN. 113 

deceive a second time any one possessed of even ordinary com- 
mon sense. We are surprised, notwithstanding, that he has 
carried his impudence so far as also to have been tampering 
in England, but the more he brings himself forward the less 
dangerous, we fancy, he Avill prove, since people shall thus 
have an opportunity of ascertaining not only his deceit but 
his foolishness. We have not thought proper to attack the 
supporters of Stancari,' partly because they are unknown to 
us, and partly because we believed that they might be more 
easily brought back to a sound mind, should they not be stigma- 
tized by any peculiar mark of disgrace. For, if they show any 
deference to our judgment, they will learn from our letter to 
you that they ought to retrace their steps. And to put an end 
to all this shuffling, know that Stancari has falsely put forward 
our names among you to screen himself. Perhaps before the 
time of the Frankfort Fair, our letter will be published in which 
we proclaim that we hold in perfect abhorrence his extravagant 
dogma.'^ Moreover, you will be made aware by our answer to 
him that we disapprove of what is written by you about the 
eternal priesthood of Christ, as if Christ were not necessarily 
eternal since he was appointed to be a priest not less than a 
mediator. If you listen to our advice, you will make some 
change in that passage, lest your adversaries should make a 
handle of it for calumniating you. We have not had leisure 

to write to the illustrious Bishop of C ,^ because we have 

had all our time absorbed by continual writings, and it is in- 
credible what a pressure of business overwhelms us from the 
state of affairs in France. The unfortunate churches of that 
country are oppressed by the most cruel tyranny. Would to 
God that half the liberty, at least, were allowed to them which 
you state to be enjoyed by those of Poland, though the Saxons, 

'Francisco Stancari, a native of Mantua, and a distinguished Orientalist, was one 
of the principal apostles of the Antitrinitarian doctrines in Poland. He maintained 
that Jesus Christ is a mediator between God and man, only in virtue of his humanity, 
and while pretending to steer at an equal distance from the errors of Tritheism and 
Arianisra, overthrew the dogma of the Trinity by subtle interpretations. 

' Answer to the Polish Brethren respecting the manner in which Christ is media- 
tor, in order to refute the error of Stancari. 1560, in 8vo. Opera, vol. viii. 

' A word illegible in the text. 



without employing the sword or other weapons, yet by practising 
one species of tyranny, are almost a match for Antichrist and 
his satellites in cruelty. Unless God from heaven provide a 
remedy for so many evils, a frightful dispersion is impending 
over all the churches. But whatever happen, let us hold on 
with constancy in the course of our vocation. 

Farewell, distinguished sir and renowned brother. May the 
Lord always stand by, protect, and strengthen you to the end. 
[Lat. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLXV. — To Nicholas des Gallars.^ 

Counsels for the direction of the Church — Domestic news. 

Geneva, l&th June, 1560. 
We have learned that certain persons of your congregation 
have made themselves busy in order to have the charge of su- 
perintendent, which was entrusted by the Queen and her coun- 
cil to the reverend father, the Bishop of London, transferred 
to another. If that is true, you must do your endeavour to 
check their importunate ofEciousness, for which there will be 
found no other motive than private cupidity. For the pretext 
which they bring forward, that it is uncertain what the character 
of his successor may turn out to be, is of no sort of importance 
to you, since the inspection over your churches has not been 
accorded to any Bishop of London whatsoever, but to this up- 
right, faithful, and sincere protector of your liberty. Should 
any other equally fit be at your disposal, still, in my judgment, 
it would be better for you to make no change, because it is not 

' By a letter of the 3d June, Des Gallars informed Calvin of the gracious reception 
which he had met with from the Bishop of London. "I presented to him your let- 
ter, says he, which he read with an appearance of great satisfaction. He testified to 
me his gratitude for it, and seemed pleased that you had written to him in so friendly 
a manner and in reminding him of his duties. He then offered me his friendly ser- 
vices with a ready access to his person as often as I should desire it." Ecclesiastical 
discords, which seemed to be the sad lot of the French congregations abroad, and the 
state of his health, abridged Des Gallars' stay in England. He became pastor of the 
Church of Orleans in 150 1. 

1560.] THE EARL OF BEDPORD. 115 

advantageous for you to alienate from you the good-will of the 
man who has embraced you with the warmest affection, who 
has undertaken to defend the repose of your church, whose 
activity and courage in procuring you tranquillity you have 
already experienced, and whose authority, in a word, is more 
than ever necessary to you. Now, since it is probable that this 
matter has been canvassed among a good many of you, should 
any report of it come to his ears, and should you suppose that 
he has been offended, you will, I trust, undertake the office of 
interpreter, that he may pardon the folly of those who have 
erred from an ill-judged excess of zeal. Assuredly he must be 
appeased, that he may not cease to extend to your church the 
same favour which he began to entertain towards it. And 
should you discover any persons of untractable dispositions, 
lose no time in letting them know that for another end you had 
been sent over to them than that of being mixed up with their 
turbulent counsels, and that carried away by them you should 
neglect the common welfare of the flock. 

Your son Amos was lately tormented during four days by so 
severe an attack of colic that we hardly entertained any hopes 
of his life. He is not yet quite recovered, but the pains being 
abated he is out of danger. Your wife is gradually recovering 
strength. She now goes abroad, and we are in hopes that she 
will continue to enjoy tolerable health. 

Farewell, most excellent brother and faithful servant of Christ. 
May God always prosper you, direct you by the spirit of wis- 
dom and fortitude, and keep you in safety. Salute all friends. 
[Lat. Cojyy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLXVI. — To THE Earl of Bedford.' 

Agitations of Europe — Wishes for the re-establishment of peace, and for the mar- 
riage of the Queen of England. 

Geneva, June, 1560. 

During the short interval that has elapsed since I wrote to 

' Without date : To the generous and most noble seigneur, the Earl of Bedford. . . . 
Member of the Privy Council, this nobleman took an important part in the measures 
which prepared the definitive triumph of the Reformation under Elizabeth. 

116 THE EARL OF BEDFORD. [1560. 

you, most illustrious and generous seigneur, by our colleague, 
Nicholas cles Gallars, nothing has occurred to furnish me mat- 
ter for a letter, except that France being occupied with her pre- 
parations for the Scottish war,' the terrible threats with which 
this city was assailed from all sides are momentarily suspended. 
In the space of four years we were a hundred times marked out 
for destruction, nor are we yet exempt from danger if our ene- 
mies were only delivered from their apprehensions in other 
quarters ; but the loss of the Spanish fleet has fallen out very 
opportunely for us, and your Queen keeps the French on the 
alert, who, by their caresses, confess their fears of her power. 
Would that disturbances being settled, and the din of arms 
appeased, you could enjoy a little tranquillity for firmly esta- 
blishing piety, and purging the worship of God from all the 
pollutions of Popery, and that those who without a cause seek 
our ruin would leave us a little repose, since we desire nothing 
but to live unnoticed in peace with all the world, and beyond 
the reach of harm in our little corner, like the tortoise in its 
shell. But as many conspire for our destruction, God will shel- 
ter us under the covert of his wings. It is very painful to all 
pious men, that in organizing a church conformably to the mo- 
del held out to us in the Scriptures, your progress should be so 
very slow ; and, to unbosom myself freely to you, it is no less a 
matter of regret to them that your Queen does not consult the 
good of posterity, and give her mind to raise up a race of chil- 
dren to succeed her.^ For what will take place, think you, 

' The first religious disturbances broke out in Scotland in 1559. The lords of the 
congregation took possession of Edinburgh, whilst the queen regent, Mary of Lor- 
raine, withdrew to Leith with the French troops that had come to her assistance. An 
English fleet was going to blockade the port of Leith and support the Reformed. 
See Hume's History of England, chap, xxxviii., ^ 9 and 10. 

* The hand of the Queen was then sought by the Archduke Charles, second son of 
the Emperor, as well as by Casimir, son of the Elector Palatine, and as this latter 
prince professed the Reformed religion, he thought himself, on that account, better 
entitled to succeed in his addresses. Eric, King of Sweden, and Adolph, Duke of 
Holstein, were encouraged by the same views to become suitors, and the Earl of Ar- 
ran, heir to the crown of Scotland, was by the states of that kingdom recommended 
to her as a suitable marriage. Even some of her own subjects entertained hopes of 
Buccess — The Earl of Arundel, Sir William Pickering, and Lord Robert Dudley. The 
policy of the Queen was not to disgust any of the pretenders to her hand by too ab- 
solute a refusal. See Hume, ehiip. xxxviii., g 14. 

1560.] THE WALDENSES. 117 

should she die without leaving any offspring? But transported 
by my anxiety, and my love of country, I overstep the bounds 
which I had prescribed to myself. I could not, however, refrain 
from making a tacit allusion to the solicitude of those who wish 
a continual duration of good fortune to your nation. In the 
meantime, most illustrious seigneur, 1 rejoice that you are un- 
wearied in your holy zeal for piety, and advancing the progress 
of the church, and 1 pray God from the heart, to preserve you 
more and more, enrich you with his gifts, and shield you with 
his protection. 

Farewell, most noble and highly esteemed seigneur. 
\_Lat. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupuy, 102.] 

DLXVII. — To THE Waldenses.' 

He exhorts them to keep up friendly relations with the Reformed churches of Poland. 

Geneva, \st July, 1560. 

After the brother from whom I received your letter had, in a 
private interview, exposed to me your instructions, as I per- 
ceived that he had been sent not to me individually, but also to 
my colleagues, I exhorted him to repeat the same before our 
society. My answer will, therefore, express the common opi- 
nion of all. And, in the first place, we return you no common 
thanks, because you have not hesitated to send to us brethren 
who should be witnesses, and, as it were, vouchers of your affec- 
tion towards us, and of your brotherly connection, and there- 
fore we have the more willingly welcomed this act of courtesy 

'To the Waldenses (or Vaudois) of Bohemia. Though commonly designnted by 
the name of Waldenses, the members of these primitive churches of Bohemia seemed 
rather to be an offshoot of the religious revolution of which John Huss was the leader 
and the martyr. In a letter to Calvin, dated from Carmel in Bohemia, they had 
manifested a desire to connect themselves more closely with the Reformed churches. 
" We see the enemies of our Lord and of the whole church lending one another mu- 
tual aid, and evidently conspiring to oppress the truth. As it is our duty vigor- 
ously to resist them, so we should take care to be all as one body in the Lord." 
Calvin replied to this pious desire in exhorting them to make some concessions on 
the question of the sacraments, and to contribute for their own part to appease the 
religious discords which agitated the churches of Poland, 

118 THE WALDEXSES. [1560. 

on your part, because it flowed from a sincere zeal for pietv. 
We desire, in our turn, that you should be equally persuaded 
how much our inclinations prompt us to cherish a holy unity. 
And assuredly, when we are separated from each other by such 
extensive tracts of country, and surrounded on every side by 
enemies that occupy nearly the whole world, to enjoy this con- 
solation of our dispersion is dear and delightful. Let us then 
bear witness, with common consent, that we have one Father in 
heaven, and that we form one body under Christ our Head. 
This we are confidently assured you will do, and we will make 
it our business to make you feel that this is in reality what we 
have most at heart. Now, we are convinced that there is no 
better bond for cementing and strengthening concord than not 
to lend too credulous an ear to evil reports that people circulate 
about one another. And, in truth, in this point we do not 
think that we have at all failed in our duty towards you : for, 
with respect to the letter written to the Poles, about which the 
brother in your name seemed indirectly to complain, we are not 
conscious of having committed any fault, and you yourselves, 
having in your equity duly considered our reasons, Avill find 
that being consulted on that cause we could not have given an 
answer with greater courtesy, nor with more moderation. Cer- 
tainly we did not mention you invidiously, and as far as the 
case permitted we strove to mitigate the ofi"ences which had 
arisen to obviate worse dissensions, and so to reconcile the parties 
on both sides, that at the very outset you might be fellow-workers 
with the Poles in erecting the kingdom of Christ. AVe were on 
the point of writing to you, also, had an opportunity presented 
itself; but it cannot escape your observation how difficult the 
means of communication are between countries lying so remote 
from each other ; now that a more favourable opportunity has 
been offered, we shall frankly make known our sentiments. Do 
you yourselves in your wisdom maturely reflect, even if we said 
nothing on the vast importance of your holding out a hand to 
the Poles, in order that the pure doctrine of the gospel may 
make progress among them. For no one can doubt that your 
dissension, if it be remarked by the enemy, will throw obstacles 
in the way of undertakings already so well and happily begun. 

1560.' THE WALDEXSES. 119 

The brother has assigned to us some reasons more specious than 
real, why you should dread to contract a more intimate union 
with them ; namely, that you perceive them to be rent by per- 
verse factions. Now this motive should act the other way, and 
stimulate you to form a closer connection, in order to counter- 
act the evils which are springing up and spreading so fast. 
For the authority of so many churches lending one another 
mutual aid would curb those wild spirits, that, in a state of dis- 
persion, claim to themselves a license to breed tumults and dis- 
turb all order. At present, the pious brethren, deprived of 
your co-operation, have a much harder task to perform. If Sa- 
tan directs the attacks of Stancari, George Blandrata, and others 
against Poland, is it not your duty to come to the rescue ? If 
you neglect it, reflect whether the aid of your brethren may not 
one day fail yourselves. For it will not be always in your own 
power to escape contentions from which God has hitherto kept 
you exempt. The controversy respecting the imparting to us 
of Christ's flesh and blood is what prevents people from coalesc- 
ing with one another. We have given it as our opinion that 
on this point a fitting and unambiguous explanation, given and 
received by the two parties, is the way to remove this stumbling- 
block. If this advice displease you, experience will one day 
prove it to have been sound and salutary. Two things, per- 
haps, have given you some offence ; first, because we have writ- 
ten that there is an obscure and ambiguous brevity in your con- 
fession, and that it stands in need of greater precision in its 
definitions ; and next, that in your apology there is too much 
vehemence and animosity against all those who, not content 
with the bare form of the expression, would like to have the 
light of a sound interpretation thrown on these words, in which 
you assert that the bread is the body of Christ. We know the 
plausible plea of those who, under the shade of the Augsburg 
confession, consulting only their ease and a quiet life, fly from 
every thing which might give them trouble ; in one word, from 
the odium of the cross itself. What opinion M. Philip Melanc- 
thon, himself the author of the confession,' entertained on this 

' Melanctbon died in the month of April preceding, his heart broken bj- the eccle- 
siastical disorders of which he had been the sorrowing but powerless witness, deplor- 

120 THE WALDENSES. [1560. 

matter is not unknown to you, and I shall be forced perhaps to 
let the whole world know it, in consequence of the double deal- 
ing of those men who endeavour to spread darkness over a 
transparent light. And yet, though we reverently cherish the 
memory of Philip, we do not make use of his authority to crush 
our adversaries ; we only show how unfairly they shelter them- 
selves under the confession of Augsburg, when nothing can be 
conceived more alien than they are from the sentiments of its 
author. We, however, persist in our opinion (let this be said 
without giving you offence) that the formula of your confession 
cannot be adopted simply as it stands without danger, and that 
to subscribe to it before it had received a suitable interpretation, 
would be the origin and subject of many evils to the Poles. 
We have no difficulty in overlooking your vehemence, for it gives 
us no pleasure to rake up old griefs, when it is our desire that 
they should be buried in oblivion. Only this we may be allowed 
to say, that it cannot decently be denied that the author of your 
apology exceeded the bounds of moderation. With regard to 
the charge with which your messenger has reproached me, (for 
the sake of retaliation, no doubt,) that I too in some of my 
writings break out into sallies of passion, though I do not en- 
tirely deny it, yet it is irrelevantly brought forward. If I, in- 
deed, inveigh rather too sharply against some unprincipled mis- 
creants, the manner of your apology is altogether dissimilar, 
for it confounds without discrimination or distinction many pious 
and learned men with the enemies of the truth. Certainly if 
it was your intention to assail the error of certain persons, you 
were bound to draw a line of demarkation so as not to involve 
in one common charge the innocent and the guilty. But to put 
a stop to all contention, we only beg and entreat you, if we have 
candidly pointed out the way which we judged most efficacious 

ing, however, his own weakness. Calvin, in one of his writings, paid him the most 
eloquent homage : — " Philip, who art now in the bosom of Christ, and in peace 
expectest us, how often fatigued by the combat, and reposing thy head on my breast, 
hast thou said to me, God grant me to die upon this heart ! and I too have a thou- 
sand times wished that we had lived together. Thou wouldst have shown more 
courage for the battle, and they who triumphed over thy great goodnes?, which they 
styled weakness, would have been restrained within bounds which they would not 
have dared to pass." — Calcinus contra Meahusium, Opera, vol. viii. 


for healing strife and banishing angry passions, that you should 
not consider that as any slight put upon you ; nor have we so 
overweening an opinion of ourselves as not to bear patiently 
beins: blamed or admonished, if it should chance that we have 
at any time acted with too little circumspection. 

Farewell, most excellent and respected brethren. We pray 
our heavenly Father to govern you continually by his Spirit, to 
shield you with his protection, to enrich you with his gifts, and 
to bless all your holy labours. 

John Calvin, 

In the name of all. 
{Calvin's Lat. Corresp. — Opera, ix., p. 1^.] 

DLXVIII. — To THE Duchess of Ferrara.^ 

He apologizes for not having been able to send her a minister — exhorts her to free 
herself from the obligatiun of an oath they have imposed on her, and to show her- 
self more firm in the profession of the gospel. 

Geneva, bth July, 1560. 

Madame : — Though I have been often required and solicited 
on your part, I have never been able to decide upon sending 
you a man such as you demanded, fearing lest those who 
brought me word, might from excess of zeal have gone 
further than your intention. For I had no letters from you to 
certify if what they told me was exact or not ; and even at pre- 
sent, Madame, I should have very much wished to have been 

' This princess was on the point of quitting Italy. Widow of Hercules d'Este (3d 
October 1559), she began her journey to return to France in the month of September 
1560, followed by the homage and regrets of the population of Ferrara : " The loss of 
this royal princess gave great sorrow to the population of Ferrara, because attaching 
everybody to her by the liveliness of her disposition and her pleasing manners, she 
was in the highest degree beloved by every body. And so much the more that she 
had not her match for her liberalities, nor was she ever tired of relieving the poor 
with her alms." Muratori, Aniieh. Eatetm, vol. ii. p. 389. Aunt of the young king 
Francis II. and of the regent Catherine of Medicis, the Duchess of Ferrara hoped to exer- 
cise at the court of France an influence useful to the Reformed party. Her departure 
from Ferrara excited the regrets of Calvin, who had never ceased to found on this 
princess great hopes for the propagation of the gospel in Italy. 



better assured, in order to write to you more freely. Not that 
I distrust the bearer, -who lias given me pretty good proofs to 
convince me that he was sent by you, but you know, Madame, 
how many persons may be suborned to draw from me things 
that might occasion you much trouble and regret. 

As to the oath^ which you have been constrained to take, 
because you have failed in your duty and offended God in taking 
it, so you are not bound to keep it, any more than a super- 
stitious vow. You know, Madame, that Herod is not only not 
approved of for having too well observed the oath which he had 
taken in an unguarded moment, but it is imputed to him for a 
two-fold condemnation. This I say to you, not to importune 
you to write to me, but that you may have no scruples about 
what God leaves you free to do, and of which he absolves you. 
I have discharged my duty in letting you know. 

With respect to the journey which you have resolved upon, 
though the captivity in which you are, and have been too long 
kept, is hard and worthy of compassion, nevertheless, I must 
declare to you, Madame, that you will not have gained much 
by having escaped from one gulf to be plunged into another. 
For I do not see in what this change can better your condition. 
The government with which they intend to mix you up is at pre- 
sent in such disorder that everybody utters a cry of alarm. 
Should you take some share in its proceedings, and should your 
opinions be listened to, I am tolerably satisfied things will not 
go on quite so badly. But that is not what they are aiming at. 
They want to screen themselves under your name, to foster the 
evil which people can no longer endure. Now to go and thrust 
yourself into the middle of these disorders is manifestly a tempt- 
ing of God. I desire your prosperity, Madame, as much ns 
possible ; but if the elevation and grandeur of the world should 
prevent you from approaching to God, I should be a traitor to 
your interests in making you believe that black is white. If 
you were thoroughly resolved to conduct yourself with straight- 
forwardness and greater magnanimity than you have done 
hitherto, I should entreat you forthwith to take a greater share 

' Hercules d'Bste, on his death-bed, had exacted of his wife an oath that she would 
no longer keep up a corrospoudence with Calvin. (Library of Ferrara.) 


in the management of affairs, than what they offer you ; but if it 
is only to say amen to everything which is condemned both by 
God and men, I have nothing to say, but that you beware of 
falling from bad into worse. I do not mean, however, Madame, 
to advise you to continue in your present state of bondage, nor to 
go to sleep in it, for there has been something too much of that 
in times past. Only I beseech you to make such a change as 
may lead you to serve God unfeignedly, and tend towards the 
right mark, and not to entangle yourself in snares it might be 
difficult for you to break, and which might fetter you as much 
as, and even more than the former ones. 

However that may be, Madame, at any rate, you are con- 
tinuing too long in a languid state, and if you do not take com- 
passion on yourself, it is to be feared that you may. seek, when 
it is too late, a remedy for your malady. Besides what God 
has so long taught you by his word, age admonishes you to re- 
flect that our heritage and eternal rest is not here below, and 
Jesus Christ certainly deserves that you should forget for him 
both France and Ferrara. God has also by your widowhood 
rendered you more disencumbered and free, in order that ho 
might draw you entirely to himself. I wish I had an oppor- 
tunity of demonstrating more fully these things to you by word 
of mouth, and that not once, but from day to day ; but I leave 
you to meditate on them in your prudence, more fully than any- 
thing; I have written could suo-o-est. 

Madame, having commended me humbly to your gracious 
favour, I entreat our heavenly Father to have you in his pro- 
tection, to govern you by his Spirit, and to increase you in all 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

124 BULLINGER. [1560. 


Mission of Theodore Beza in France— Counsels to the churches of that country — 
Sending off of four pupils to Zurich — Death of a minister of Geneva. 

Geneva, 6th September, 1560.' 

Had I been informed in time of the departure of this mes- 
senger, I should have written to you at greater length; but as 
I write to you after supper and fatigued by my day's labour, 
you will excuse my brevity, especially as I am obliged to prepare 
myself for to-morrow's sermon. Respecting the troubles in 
France, I doubt not but many and various rumours are flying 
about among you as nearly everywhere. Of most that is going 
on I am ignorant. "What many people expect it is unnecessary 
to write, not to mix myself up with their foolish conjectures. 
Beza at my request has undertaken a mission both troublesome 
and dangerous, and which will expose him to all sorts of incon- 
venience. I do not, however, repent of my advice.'^ Unless I 
had interposed, many districts would have been involved in a 
dreadful conflagration. 

If God bless our counsels, there will be ample matter for congra- 
tulation. Whatever fall out, all good men, after being thoroughly 
acquainted with the circumstances, will judge that we have not 
attempted any thing rashly. The object of our efforts is to 
prevent our coreligionists from stirring up tumults. Hitherto 
we have met with much success. The events of futurity are in 
the hand of God. In the meantime an excess of confidence has 
turned the heads of our people. For in opposition to what we 
have always forbidden, they seize upon the churches or preach 

' To the date is subjoined : "on the eve of the messenger's departure." 
= The object of this mission was to make another attempt to decide the King of 
Navarre to repair to the court and avail himself of the approaching meeting of the 
States General, in order to destroy the power of the Princes of Lorraine. But Hot- 
man and Beza could obtain nothing of the weak and vainglorious Bourbon. Here 
are the terms in which the registers of the society of Geneva announce the mission 
of Beza': " The twentieth of July of the same year (1560) our brother M. de Beza was 
sent into Gascony to the King of Navarre in order to instruct him in the word of 

1560.] BULLINGEK. - 125 

in public places. The brethren sent by us make this excuse 
for themselves that they are dragged forward contrary to their 
inclination or compelled by necessity, as there is no private 
dwelling capable of containing four thousand people. But I 
am straitened for time — ere long I shall let you know more. 

The senate has commissioned me to make a request to you 
and your brethren about a matter in itself most reasonable and 
which will not be disagreeable to you. It has resolved to 
bring up at the public charge in your city four young lads, to be 
instructed in the branches of a liberal education, and to learn 
your language. The youths of whom in the judgment of their 
schoolmasters the fairest hopes are entertained, have been pitched 
upon. Now in the name of the senate I make an appeal to 
your friendship to see them provided with lodgings, where they 
may be kept under a pious and virtuous discipline. I should 
not like to be troublesome to you, but because I am fully con- 
vinced that all of you will be inclined to render us this service, 
I have not hesitated to demand of you what will not put you to 
much inconvenience, and which of your own accord you would 
have granted. I should like to discourse with you and your 
brethren at greater length, but as my duty calls me off, I defer 
that pleasure to another opportunity. 

Farewell, most excellent sir and brother, whom I venerate 
with my whole heart along with your fellow-pastors. May the 
Lord protect, govern, preserve, and support you all even to the 
end. I add no salutations from any one, because no one was 
aware that I was about to write to you. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

I am overwhelmed with grief for the recent death of our most 
excellent brother Macar.' In him the church has lost a most 
faithful pastor, we, a most affectionate colleague, and I per- 
sonally am bereaved of a most upright brother and of almost 

' The minister Macar had scarcely returned from his perilous apostleship at Paris, 
where he devoted himself to the care of the poor, and to visiting those who were ill of 
the plague. He was speedily attacked by the disease, and died about the end of 
August, 1560, much regretted by the republic and the church of Geneva. (Giiberel, 
vol. ii. p. 164.') 

126 THEODORE BEZA. [1560. 

one half of my soul. The wliole city mourns, but a weight of 
sorrow preys upon the more serious part of it. 

[ Orig. autogr. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLXX.— To Theodoee Beza.^ 

Troubles in France — Faults committ-ed by the chiefs of the Reformed party — Slug- 
gishness of the King of Navarre. 

Geneva, 10(A September, 1560. 

As I suppose that my letter has miscarried in which I signified 
to you what I am about to write, I am obliged now to repeat it. 
Our Hotspur'^ had been informed in time of the change in their 
purpose, and I had previously informed him that, for important 
reasons, nothing ought to be attempted by him, till something 
had been accomplished by you. Thus by his rash haste he has 
been guilty of a grave fault. Another untoward accident kept 
your letter of the 25th August nearly four days on the road, 
through the negligence of I know not what muleteer, who had 
engaged to deliver it four hours after it was put into his hands. 

' This letter designedly obscure was written during the gravest conjunctures. Be- 
fore Theodore Beza had arrived at Nerac bearing the instructions of Calvin, the King 
of Navarre and the Prince of Condi had conceived, the former with hesitation, the 
latter boldly, projects which were destined to terminate in the momentary insurrec- 
tion of the provinces in order to overthrow the authority of the Guises. Young 
Ferrieres, Seigneur of Maligny, entering secretly into Lyons with 1200 men, was to 
have seized on the fortress by surprise, Paul de Mouvans was to stir up Languedoc 
and Provence, and Monbrun, Dauphiny, while the King of Navarre setting out from 
Nerac should call around him the nobility of the South to the rallying cry at once 
monarchical and religious : Christ and Capet. This project failed like the preceding 
ones, in consequence of the irresoluteness of its principal chief, and the want of con- 
cert among the conspirators. Invariably opposed to every armed insurrection of the 
churches, Calvin had in vain essayed to moderate their ardour, and transform a plot 
into an imposing but pacific manifestation of opinion. He could not, however, 
abandon a cause which was dear to him, in the moment of danger, and exhorted the 
King of Navarre to avail himself of his rights as the first prince of the blood, not to 
withdraw himself from the authority of the king, but to overthrow the usurped domi- 
nation of the Guises. 

'In the text, Fcrvidtis noster — a covert allusion to the name of Ferrieres de Maligny, 
who, for having put in execution too soon hia attempt upon Lyons, had received a 
severe check, and saw himself reduced to the necessity of evacuating the place. See 
de Thou, lib. xxv. and Claude de Rubys, Uistoire de Lyon, p. 3S6 and the followiug. 

1560.] THEODORE BEZA. 127 

Exhausted by a sorrow of eight days' duration I had thrown 
myself into bed, after my return from a very melancholy expe- 
dition, for I had accompanied the funeral procession of our most 
excellent brother.' I got up immediately and wrote to beseech 
Hotspur, to take care to have transmitted to the place indicated 
in my letter, an account of whatever preparations had been 
made, or to be the bearer of it himself. In the mean time, to 
make some apology for his excessive precipitancy, he has sent 
this person with a letter whence it is permitted to conclude that 
he would not suffer himself to be guided by any sober counsels, 
and for that reason the messenger himself who then coincided with 
him in opinion will give a much better account of the whole 
affair. I have selected him from among all, chiefly because no 
one was better fitted for surmounting obstacles. How disgrace- 
fully that foolhardy man came off who would listen to no advice, 
I forbear for the moment to tell you. You shall hear it all 
when we meet. But now for fear this adverse stroke should 
take by surprise our chief and our standard-bearer, I determined 
immediately to dispatch some one to acquaint them with what 
had happened. There was another motive for sending to them, 
viz : that they might know how faithfully we had looked after 
those things, which we had promised to manage. I will begin 
with this last considei'ation. Our neighbours had either broken 
faith, or given way to cowardice, unless I had most energetically 
recalled them to their duty. Their spirits seemed revived by 
the presence of the person who to my reproaches added both 
prayers and threats. Three days after, we heard that they had 
again lost all heart. Another person succeeded to the first. 
The sum had already been completed, but only because we be- 
came sureties for it. Whether any adverse blast shall drive 
us from this course also, I cannot tell. Certainly the transac- 
tion was managed with good faith. You may assure the chief 
and the standard-bearer of this, that we were abundantly 
sedulous to accelerate matters, but that some delay was oc- 
casioned by the sluggishness of others. Then when your arrival 
was the most efficacious remedy for all those evils, to have no 
word from you was productive of much mischief. For hence it 

' See p. 197, note 1. 

128 THEODORE BEZA. [1560. 

happened that the individual usurped a greater degree of licence, 
whose vain impetuosity was so suddenly checked, and the others 
who believed themselves undone wavered in their duty.' Hence 
the disaster which nevertheless ought rather to whet than blunt 
people's courage. 

From other quarters I conceive better hopes, because active 
collectors with instructions from me having gone to Macon, the 
neighbouring towns, and the whole of the maritime coast, for the 
sake of transacting business, will not spare their pains. What 
then remains to be done but that our chief should by his prompt- 
itude recruit his forces, which he will never do by sitting still 
and inactive. If he complains that he is unprovided with funds, 
he will find many persons, each of whom will stretch their own 
resources to furnish them. Something should have been at- 
tempted already. He would have experienced how much de- 
pends on confidence and activity. And it is to no purpose that 
he deliberates while his adversary executes, and is bringing for- 
ward with all zeal, machines to crush him. A rumour indeed 
has gone abroad that attempts have been made to cajole him by 
deceitful blandishments, in order that he may be gained over. 

This does seem very probable to me, since the cause which he 
has embraced is so far advanced that there is no room for re- 
conciliation. But if our chief should prove credulous beyond 
what is conceivable, how much I fear that he will soon discover, 
and yet too late, that these caresses are poison bedaubed over 
with honey. And should we admit that he could in safety 
abandon our cause, which it is folly to expect, yet what more 
ignoble than this cowardice to yield to these savage monsters, nay, 
to present his face for them to spit on and thus remain branded 
with an indelible mark of disgrace ! And even should an enemy, 
of unbounded insolence, however, refrain from insults, yet such 
a deserter would be covered with everlasting contempt, and had 
better suffer a thousand deaths. But it is clear that should 
they be victorious, they will not confine themselves to insults, 
but will trample on their victim even unto death. Now if he 

" Disconcerted by the check which Maligny had received at Lyons, Mouvans and 
Monhrun had laid down their arms and uiado an act of submission to the lieutenant 
of the king. 

1560,] THEODORE BEZA. 129 

does not shrink from holding out his neck to the executioner, 
yet should respect for the cause weigh with him — a cause which 
he knows to be approved of God and recommended by the 
suffrages of all good men. As we are unacquainted with your 
situation, I dare not advance any further remarks, unless that it 
is necessary for you to press on him this point, and to keep 
dinning it into his ears — that it is, not only, neither expedient, 
nor honourable, nor safe, nor in one word lawful to abate any 
portion of diligence ; but that on the contrary the most manifest 
and inevitable danger, both of death and infamy, is impending 
over his head, should he loiter even for a moment. Before 
matters came to a crisis, I did not spare our neighbours; at the 
same time I made it my business that their warlike demonstra- 
tions should be put down. I saw what might result from them. 
I carefully examined the subjects of their complaints. I said 
to our friends among whom was at that time he of whom death 
has bereaved us, "that it would be on my part an act of the 
highest cruelty,' to expose men so wantonly to destruction, be- 
cause the auxiliary troops being removed from thence, I should 
be leading them forth as it were to the butcher." I turned a 
deaf ear to all remonstrances that I might faithfully discharge 
my duty. 

Now when I see them exposed to so many injuries, a feeling 
of compassion rises up in my breast, nor can I help feeling all 
the bitterness of sorrow if I see them abandoned. Wherefore 
it is your duty importunately to assail those ears that shall be 
too slow to hear, or stopped by unworthy obstacles. I wish I 
could join you to play a secondary part, but even the task of 
stimulating the sluggish, by writing to them, is taken out of m;y 
hands. Do you then not only give publicity to the contents of 
this letter, but borrow from our school sharp arguments to prick 
them on, because you know with what ardour our masters here 
are animated when necessity demands it. It has seemed to us 
better, moreover, to make you the interpreter of our wishes than 
to charge the present messenger with letters which might per- 
chance create discontent. Salute then most respectfully — you 

' There are bere several words effaced in the original manuscript, though the want 
scarcely affects the sense of the passage. 


130 suLCER. [1560. 

know whom, and farewell, most upright brother. May the 
Lord stand by you all, govern, sustain, and protect you. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 6.1 


Movements in Italy — Causes of the troubles in France — States of Fontainebleau. 

Geneva, 1st October, 1560. 

For a long time I have written nothing to you, my worthy 
sir and respected brother, because I am distracted by all sorts 
of affairs, and prolonged diseases take up a great part of my 
time.^ Besides, in all parts of France, the brethren implore 
our assistance, and I am not sorry now to abstain from all 
writing which is not wrung from me by necessity, because I see 
that my letters are immediately made public. For a short time 
ago, when I had written to a friend who lives in your city, re- 
specting the disturbances in France, I was surprised to learn 
that part of my letter had been quoted in the privy council of 
the king. For I was forced to recognize my words in which 
nothing was changed, and yet this single reason would not for 
all that prevent me from writing, (since I have learned quietly 
to despise both rumours and hatred,) were it not that I do not 
find in what terms I could explain matters so uncertain and 
perplexed. How the Venetians and the Duke of Mantua, along 
with the Emperor, are disquieting the Pope,'' I say nothing ; 

• Amid the sufferings occasioned by the several complaints which were soon to be- 
reave the church of Calvin, he continued to keep up a vast correspondence, which he 
considered as one of his principal duties. Sulcer, in his answer to the Keformer, 
thanked him in the following terms : — " Your letter was to me exceedingly agreeable, 
and more than compensated for your silence. For I am not ignorant of your most 
holy labours, which I should by no means wish to break in upon by desiring you to 
write to me. Your letter gives me proof that the state of your health is not despaired 
of, and that you still preserve a recollection of me, your most intimate brother in the 
Lord."— (14 Nov., 1560,) vol. 112, Library of Geneva. 

' To Pope Paul IV., the furious enemy of the Spanish domination in Italy, had suc- 
ceeded in 1569 Pius IV., of the family of the Medicis, who was destined to inaugu- 
rate a new policy less hostile to the two branches of the House of Austria. 

1560.] SULCER. 131 

nor, above all, what the Florentine' is complotting, whom I take 
to be the choragus in this drama, for though the duchy of Milan 
is offered as a reward, yet that good man most assuredly in his 
secret heart destines a good deal more for himself than what 
is openly held out to Maximilian.^ 

In France there are two causes of tumultuary movements ; the 
government of the Guises is not supportable, and many cannot 
any longer bear to see religion oppressed with so much and 
such violent barbarity. The Guises, seeing their power so de- 
tested by all, have lately with foolish and childish pomp feigned 
to be ready to give an account of their measures. The Assem- 
bly was very magnificent.^ The king in his public edicts boasts 
that the princes of the blood were present in it. It is certain 
that only his brothers assisted at it, the elder of whom is not 
yet ten years of age ; unless, perhaps, you count the Cardinal 
of Bourbon, the brother of the King of Navarre, whose mind 
is more lumpish than a log, unless when it is a little quickened 
by wine. In what concerns a regent for the kingdom they 
came to this decision, that the king should appoint a general 
assembly of the orders for the month of December. This is 
called in our language a meeting of the estates. Hitherto the 
Guises have shrunk from a meeting of the estates. But mark 
how facetiously they elude it. It has been decided by a decree 
to hold previous meetings in each of the provinces in which de- 
puties should be elected as the Guises shall direct, and such 
only as give clear proofs of their being the creatures of that ill- 
fated house.* The 20th January is fixed upon for the bishops, 
not that they should decide upon any thing, but merely that 
they should deliberate what may be expedient to be laid before 
the general assembly, and next that they should correct abuses 

' The Duke Uosmo 1. See in the following letter new details about these diplo- 
matic intrigues. 

' The son of the Emperor Ferdinand and King of the Romans. 

* Allusion to the Assembly of Fontainebleau, held on the 21st of August, 1560. 
See for further details the following letter. 

■• " The Guises," says a contemporary historian, Regnier de la Planche, " had expressly 
enjoined the governors of provinces to allow none to be chosen deputies but those 
whose Catholic principles were clearly ascertained. Above all, they desired none but 
those of their own faction, and that especial care should be taken that none of these 
seditious and rebellious Huguenots should be listened to." 

132 SULCEK. [1560, 

introduced by Impious persons into the church ; in other words, 
that they should so consolidate the old tyranny that all grounds 
of controversy being surreptitiously removed, there should no 
longer be need of any greater remedy. Meanwhile, in certain 
provinces there is a short truce to their cruelties, not that the 
Guises are appeased, but because they required a powerful army 
to maintain their war. Add to that, the Admiral has had the 
courage to present a petition in the name of fifty thousand per- 
sons, who, in Normandy, demand entire liberty to call upon 
God. The Guises inveighed bitterly against him. He obtained, 
however, for the petitioners some relaxation of rigour. The 
Bishop of Vienne' spoke with exceeding good sense on the man- 
ner of healing the evils of the church. A short time afterwards 
an order was signified to him to betake himself home. The 
King of Navarre has not declared himself, but the churches of 
Gascony enjoy a certain degree of repose. Our brother Beza 
is on a mission to him. What he may afterwards determine to 
do I cannot say. A quantity of arms was lately seized at 
Lyons. The rumour is rife about a conspiracy ; nothing, how- 
ever, is certain. Here you have a confused mass of informa- 
tion ; I wish I could have made it ampler and more distinct. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and respected brother. Viret 
and my other fellow pastors beg me to send you their kindest 
wishes. God has taken from among us one of them, distin- 
guished for his excellent qualities. We have all mourned over 
his ashes, and I more than others, because in private life we 
were intimately united. May the Lord preserve in surety you 
and your colleagues, govern you by his Spirit, and enrich you 
more and more with his gifts. Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

' Marillac, a prelate of an elevated and tolerating character, who was accused, as 
well as Monluc, the Bishop of Valence, of professing in secret the Reformed doctrines. 

1560,] BULLINGER. 133 


Intrigues of the Guises in Germany, and of the Emperor in Italy — New details re- 
specting the Assembly of Fontainebleau — Speeches of the Chancellor, and of the 
Bishop of Valence — Progress of the gospel in France. 

Geneva, 1st October, 1560. 

I informed you some time ago, respected brother, that the 
letter which you wrote to our friend Beza was delivered to me. 
I also received the one you wrote to myself from a Belgian, a 
neighbour of ours, five days after his arrival here. When I 
learned that he had received the letter from you two days before 
his departure, and that it contained details respecting the young 
man whom you recommended to me, (I mean the young man 
who is a native of the valley of Aosta, and has run away from 
his father and the Duke,) I assure you I received this tardy 
messenger rather dryly. He had no excuse for his delay, as I 
am so easily to be found, since I preach every day in the morn- 
ing, and give a lecture in the public school every afternoon. 
But I have got inured to the rudeness of that people, and as 
they border on my own birth-place I dare not speak of them 
too harshly. For I am myself a Belgian, too, though it fol- 
lows from our want of sympathy that we are far from resem- 
bling one other. This, of course, is a joke, though, in truth, 
we are any thing but polite, I now come to the subject of my 
letter. What the French envoy was going to do in Germany, 
men of some sagacity shrewdly guessed while he was on his 
way. For they saw that the pretexts for his mission were fri- 
volous. The only object the Guises have in view is to throw 
every thing into confusion, that they may compromise as many 
people as possible by their schemes.* I do not then doubt the 

' The correspondence of BuUinger at this period shows him to be singularly atten- 
tive to the political and religious transactions of France, '' I entreat you," wrote he 
to Calvin, "that you would let me know, by means of your correspondents, what is 
going on, and what hopes of success there are in France. I expect a better order 
of things, and I pray God to have pity on us." — Library of Geneva, vol. 111. 

» Their intrigues aimed at nothing less than placing a Prince of the House of Lor- 
raine on the throne of Denmark, and bringing about the restoration of Catholicism 
in that country. 

134 BULLINGER. [1560. 

truth of all that you have written to me concerning their in- 
trigues. But God has impediments of his own to check their 
progress.' For the Emperor wishes to obtain the Duchy of 
Milan for his son, the King of Bohemia, that the latter may not 
be without a patrimony. He has married his two daughters, as 
you know, in Italy, the one to the son of the Duke of Florence, 
the other to the Duke of Mantua ; the latter a petty dependant 
prince, the former governing the Pope by his counsels and influ- 
ence, and who has made himself so much master of Tuscany 
that all his neighbours, terrified by his power, are reduced to 
silence. He is aiming at higher things. The Venetians, the 
Duke of Ferrara,^ and others have united in a league. Each 
one consults his own private interests. This drama opened 
with an act of spoliation. Contrary to all justice, the legiti- 
mate prince was stripped of his Duchy of Camerino. The Pope 
restored it. But because the Apostolic See suiBFered by this 
restitution, Placentia and Parma are demanded in exchange 
for it.^ You do not perceive that these preludes will terminate 
in serious contests ; that they are but the precursors of a gene- 
ral council, I am quite disposed to believe, nor will you, I fancy, 
say the contrary. With reference, then, to what you wrote, 
that we must wait till our heavenly Father dissipate their bloody 
counsels, I would have you remark that sparks of his heavenly 
light are already beginning to shine. Though it behoves us to 
look a little deeper into the aspect of things, and, above all, to 
this point that if hitherto we have been in a state of torpor, 
God is now wakening us up from our lethargy. Before I relate 
to you matters enveloped in greater mystery, you will learn in 
what a wretched and deplorable state France is now, from a 
complaint of which I send you a copy which was brought here. 
You will laugh at my offering you a pamphlet written in French, 

' Allusion to the Austrian and Spanish influence again become preponderant in 
Italy. The Duke. Francis de Guise, general of the league formed by Pope Paul IV., 
in 1556, had in vain essayed to take Naples from the Spaniards. 

" The new Duke of Ferrara, Alphonso II., needed by his docility to make the Em- 
peror forget the part which his father, Hercules d'Este, had taken in the crusade 
agaiust the Spaniards. 

' These two cities formed an independent duchy under Octavius Farnese, the hus- 
band of Margaret, the daughter of the Emperor Charles V. 

1560.] BULLINGER. 135 

but you will find about you translators who will explain to you 
the principal points in it. It will give you a notion of the 
marvellous intrigues of the house of Guise. Respecting other 
subjects you will excuse my brevity, for I should never have 
done were I to enter into details in so immense a field of 

All the great men of the nation were lately convoked at 
Fontainebleau, a place about two days' journey distant from 
Paris. None of the princes of the blood royal were present, 
except the Cardinal of Bourbon, brother to the King of Na- 
varre, one you might easily mistake for a cask or a flagon, so 
little has he the shape of a human being. The Guises imagined 
that it would add greatly to the pomp of the assembly, if as 
many as possible of those purple robed knights, who are so 
proud of belonging to the order of St. Michael, were summoned 
to attend it. Thirty of them made their appearance, though 
formerly their number was twelve. There the Chancellor took 
occasion to speak in pompous terms of the illustrious senate in 
which was vested the whole authority of the kingdom. His 
exordium was in a strain of the most fulsome adulation. He 
then enlarged on the state of the kingdom, remarking that as 
it stood in need of remedies to heal its complaints, it was their 
business to investigate the cause of the evils. Here he brought 
his report to a close, as if at his wit's end he had been invoking 
a consultation of state doctors. The king, by a preconcerted 
scheme, asked the Bishop of Valence, who was among the last 
of the counsellors to deliver his sentiments, evidently because 
the Guises wished to elicit the secret inclinations of all, and 
suddenly, as they should find an opportunity, assail them one 
by one. Contrary to the expectations of every body, the Admi- 
ral arose and presented to the king a petition in which the 
inhabitants of Normandy, who wish to worship God in purity, 
requested to have leave to assemble themselves in open day, in 
order not to be exposed to diverse calumnies on account of 
clandestine or nocturnal meetings. Being questioned how he 
became possessed of such a document, he replied that he took 
an interest in the public good, and was curious to know what 
the Lutherans wished for ; that he would produce, moreover, the 

136 BULLINGER. [1560. 

signatures of fifty thousand men that were affixed to it, if the 
king desired it. In the whole assembly but two persons spoke 
with any degree of discretion — the Admiral and the Archbishop 
of Vienne. When all the speakers had delivered their opinions, 
of whom the greater part consisted of underlings, the Duke of 
Guise gave vent to his spite with an insolence that would not 
have been tolerated elsewhere. In a few words I will give you 
a sample of his stolidity. When the Admiral had expressed his 
disapprobation of the barbarous custom, not only of assigning 
to the king body-guards, but surrounding him with an army, 
declaring that such an education was not worthy of a nation 
like France, and that a youthful sovereign should not be brought 
up to distrust his subjects, whose affections, on the contrary, he 
ought to conciliate and foster by acts of kindness ; that madman 
replied that the king had no need of tutors or governors, since 
he had been educated in the practice of every virtue, (I quote 
his words to the letter,) and if, moreover, he required any in- 
struction, his mother was fully competent for that task. He 
had the audacity to say that in spite of what a thousand coun- 
cils should decree, he was immovably resolved to adhere to the 
institutions of his ancestors. His brother, the Cardinal, with 
greater gravity and shrewdness observed that it was idle to de- 
mand of councils any innovation in doctrine, for it was impious 
to make those things which had proceeded from the Holy Spirit 
the subject of controversy. If any vices in conduct existed, 
permission should be granted to the bishops of their own autho- 
rity to correct them. The Bishop of Vienne had provoked him 
to make this remark, having declared that it was a base and 
disgraceful sign of dissoluteness when bishops abandoned their 
churches to frequent the courts of princes. He also, in vehe- 
ment terms, besought the king'not to bereave churches of their 
pastors under the frivolous pretext of the public good, for that 
hence it followed as a consequence that no one was restrained 
by law or necessity, but every one did whatever his inclination 
prompted. You ask, What resulted from all this ? The Bishop 
of Vienne betook himself home. Four or five days were spent 
in vain recriminations. A meeting of the estates is fixed for 
the month of December. The bishops are convoked for the 

1560.] BULLINGER. 137 

20th of January, not that they should decide upon any thing, 
but merely that they should deliberate upon what may be ex- 
pedient to be laid before the general assembly. Hitherto the 
Guises have struggled obstinately to prevent the assembling of 
the estates. Now, having plucked up courage, they are devis- 
ing means wittily to overreach those who expect any relief from 
this measure. For they have tacked a clause io the decree by 
which it is provided, first, that each of the provinces should 
examine, in the presence of their governors, what affairs it 
may be expedient to have discussed in the general assembly ; 
(in this examination there will not be a shadow of liberty :) 
next, that they should choose their deputies according to the 
suggestions of the same governors ; so that none will come up 
to the meeting but such purchased parasites as the Guises shall 
be pleased to name. How frivolous, moreover, and nugatory 
this parade of a council is, you will comprehend from the form 
of the decree which any of your friends will translate for you. 
Meanwhile, the truth of the gospel is breaking forth. In Nor- 
mandy our brethren are preaching in public, because no private 
house is capable of containing an audience of three and four 
thousand persons. There is greater liberty in Poitou, Saintonge, 
and the whole of Gascony. Languedoc, Provence, and Dau- 
phiny possess many intrepid disciples of Christ. Why the 
Cardinal is so supine he has himself hinted pretty clearly ; evi- 
dently it is that ere long he may detect the imprudence of these 
inconsiderate people ; but the Lord, I trust, will not only bring 
to light his accursed devices, but will defeat his impious attempts. 
The King of Navarre is still quiet. He is, nevertheless, an 
object of suspicion, as if he were about to attempt something 
important. Thus, when garrisons were lately placed in ten 
places of the kingdom, the most effective for the purposes of 
the French war was stationed by the Guises in the territory of 
Gascony. I have not had news of Beza for some time, because 
the roads are blocked up. At Lyons a quantity of arms was 
seized. There was then a great trepidation in that quarter, and 
though no one marched against them, yet they conceived them- 
selves to be in great danger, and thus their fears whetted their 
cruelty. Some have been already hanged, and all who come 

138 BULLINGER. [1560. 

from there are immediately dragged to prison, and put to the 
rack indiscriminately. Be sure that our brother Beza did not 
go there of his own accord, but because he was summoned by 
a letter of the king's, in which he asked me politely and with 
the greatest earnestness to grant him this highly important 
favour. I thought it right not to refuse him, partly that Beza 
might stimulate -his sluggishness, and partly that he might coun- 
teract the turbulent counsels of many. For I never approved 
of deciding our cause by violence and arms. But as I can 
never crowd into one letter the immense quantity of news that 
yet remain untold, I shall here come to a close. Because you 
made no difficulty in undertaking the task of procuring proper 
masters for the young men that are sent from here to be edu- 
cated in your city, and also in seeing that they were lodged in 
virtuous families, our senate begs me to offer you their warmest 
thanks for the hearty good-will you have shown, and they most 
willingly pledge themselves to return the favour, should an occa- 
sion ever present itself. Besides, these four who are maintained 
at the public expense, some others are sent by private persons 
whom I desire not less to recommend to you. I have been en- 
treated to do so in the name of three, but as I hear that two 
of them are already provided with lodgings, I am very desirous 
that you should make arrangements for the third, both because 
his mother is a woman of singular piety, and his father was a 
dear and intimate friend of mine. His name is Michael Plan- 
chan. Pardon me, if yielding to entreaties, I occasion you 
more trouble than 1 could wish. 

Farewell, most distinguished sir and my very honoured bro- 
ther. You will present my be'st respects to your brethren, col- 
leagues, and other friends. May the Lord always keep you in 
safety, direct you by his Spirit, and bless your labours. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

I know not whether I ought to thank M. Wolf for Tilmann's 
book,' translated into Latin, which he sent me. For though 

' Tiltnann Heshusius, author of a pamphlet against Melancthon, translated by Mar- 
bauh at Strasbourg. 


that wrangling fellow deserved the critic's lash, yet I was of 
opinion that he should have heen passed over with contempt. 
[Lat. Orig. Autog. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLXXIII. — To Nicholas des Gallars.' 

Domestic details — News of the Church and Academy of Geneva. 

Geneva, 3rf October, 1560, 

You seem to have felt a little hurt, because you received no 
answer when you had asked me for my advice on some important 
matters. I fancy you had already understood how punctual I 
am in attending to letters when once they have been delivered 
to me. I immediately wrote back to you on the receipt of yours, 
how long after its date it had been put into my hands. I also 
endeavoured, as the circumstances required, to settle the busi- 
ness which gave you so much uneasiness. Though my letter 
was rather desultory, and I had been forced by illness to dictate 
a part of it, I was nevertheless unwilling to omit anything 
which might contribute to relieve your anxiety. I faithfully 
executed your commissions. I wrote to Roche and exhorted 
him to cross over to you. There did not exist a copy of what 
the Strasburgers had written about Peter,'^ and perhaps it is 
better that that matter should be handled rather leniently. 

' On his arrival in London, Nicholas des Gallars saw himself engaged in difficulties 
which paralyzed the exercise of his ministry in the congregation of the foreign Pro- 
testants. Separated from his wife and children whom he had left at Geneva, he 
suffered at the same time from the inefficacy of his services and his solitariness. 
" What I should decide upon I do not clearly see. It is not my intention to abandon 
this infant church, which is yet far from being well organized, to the wolves that are 
still gaping to devour it, nor can I return to you unless there should be another pastor 
left to replace me, and I should be called for some valid reason. I have not beea 
able to send over for my wife in the present doubtful state of afiFairs, and because I 
have no means of furnishing her with what she would require to defray the expenses 
of her journey. I cannot easily contemplate this prolonged absence both from you 
and my family without the deepest sorrow. I say nothing of many things which I 
must endure in silence, and for which I am without an assistant and an adviser." 

"Peter Alexandre of Aries, formerly minister of the French Church of Strasbourg, 
and second pastor of the Church of London, 


They might complain that those things which they had com- 
municated to us confidentially should have publicity given to 
them ; and he himself might raise an outcry that we acted with 
inhumanity in odiously exhibiting as a criminal charge against 
him those things which had been written to exculpate him. That 
other manner of pacification then is preferable, if for no other 
reason at least for this, that it does not compromise the public 

But what surprises us is, that you say not a word either about 
your stay or your return. This is the more extraordinary be- 
cause the letter addressed to us by the members of the congre- 
gation conjointly had set our minds at rest, for they return us 
public thanks, and assert in no equivocal terms that you are 
their pastor. They also beg of us, pledging themselves to be 
responsible for the payment, to furnish your wife with whatever 
she may stand in need of. That she might be emboldened to 
ask, I have let her know that she shall want for nothing. 
About the house which she occupies, she has thoughtlessly teased 
you with her complaints, and you have lent but too ready an 
ear to them. Hitherto I had heard nothing on that subject, 
but now she has confessed to me that she had talked with Beza 
concerning it a good while ago. His answer was frank and 
open ; if you remained in England. . . according to the implied 
consent of the brethren, that house was intended for her, that 
she might be nearer the school, but not a word has ever been 
dropped on that subject, nor have they yet deliberated respecting 
it, while matters still remain in their present doubtful state. 
I do not suppose she invented what she wrote to you, but when 
we are over inquisitive, it sometimes happens that we hear 
more than we could wish. She has even formerly related things 
which I never heard from any one. But if people keep babbling 
this or that, does their silly gossip forsooth deserve to pass the 
channel? This I affirm; nothing was ever decided respecting 
the house, nor will be, till the election of your successor, and this 
we have put ofi" till now. It is fixed, however, for to-morrow. 
But whatever shall take place, we will take care that she be not 
obliged to remove before the winter. She might even have 
made something by hiring the house, had she not wished to 


show herself so liberal to foreigners, strangers, and even wealthy- 
people. The house is still the subject of some lawsuits, but she 
hoped, as Beza told me, that they would soon be terminated. 

Hilaire is dead ; Nicholas and his wife have been ill. He is not 
yet recovered, and his complaint it appears will be of long dura- 
tion. Diseases have been raging among our townsmen since 
your departure, two of them are dead, Tagaut' and Gaspar; in 
fine that most excellent man Macar to the great sorrow of all 
has been taken from us. You can well imagine from my dis- 
position how bitterly I have felt so many bereavements. Baduel^ 
drags on as well as he can. Bernard and Chevalier have got 
rid of their fever. Henoch^ and Morel are gradually recovering 
strength. Colic and inflammation of the blood and lungs have 
severely tried me. Though we have a great deficiency of pastors, 
yet our brethren have always put ofi" the election of a successor 
to you, till lately they learned from the collective letter of your 
church, that you have been retained where you are. Beza's 
absence, besides the extraordinary burden of lecturing which it 
imposes on me, is for many other reasons annoying to me. I 
am distressed that our worthy brother should be incessantly 
beset with dangers, and I see but little prospect of his return. 
But what torments me more cruelly is the reflection that, urged 
by necessity, we have not hesitated to peril the life of so singular 
a friend and so excellent a man. Other secret griefs I kept 
shut up in my own bosom. 

Farewell, most worthy brother. You will pardon my col- 
leagues for not writing. As I had undertaken this task, they 
fancy they have acquitted themselves of their duty by my as- 
sistance. In the mean time, carefully salute all. May the 
Lord always protect, govern, and sustain you, for I see how 
laborious a function you have to discharge in directing that 
church ; but God, who for the hardest struggles always imparts 
sufiicient strength, will stand by you to the last. I imagine the 

' John Tagaut, professor of philosophy in the Academy of Geneva. Bernard taught 
Greek in it, and Chevalier, Hebrew. 

* Claude Baduel, formerly rector of the University of Nimes, professor of mathe- 
matics at Geneva. He died there in 15fi0. 

'Francis Henoch, originally from the valleys of Piedmont, minister of the Church 
of Geneva. He was for some time almoner of the Duchess of Feirara. 

142 BULLINGEK. [1560. 

minister Belzan from whom new disturbances were apprehended 
is half crushed, now that he has been stripped of his false 

[Lat. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 


Conspiracy of Lyons — Journey of the King of Navarro — Expectation of grave events 

in France. 

Geneva, Uth October, 1560. 

I am prevented from writing back to you at greater length, 
respected brother, by a violent headache, which has not ceased 
to torment me for the last two days. Stegner the Avoyer of 
Berne had already told us here what you write to me about our 
neighbours.' I think it is probable that they will purposely 
seize on this opportunity of making war, and will be driven to 
take this step, not so much by their own impetuosity as by 
foreign impulse. May the Lord restrain or mitigate their 
ferocity, and at the same time resist their perverse designs. I 
had heard that the King of France demanded supplies of money 
and troops from you, but relying on your perspicacity I did not 
think it necessary to remind you of the purpose of such a de- 
mand. I wrote to you lately respecting the troubles at Lyons. 
Certainly something was agitated, but by a few. They wished, 
but very preposterously, to stimulate in this manner the King 
of Navarre. I who was aware that that was not consonant 
with his plans, and who knew his mind, attempted to divert 
them from their project. But because they had proceeded 
too far, the conspiracy was partly detected. The only thing 
criminal, however, which was discovered in their conduct, was 
that they wished to open up a free course for the gospel. 
Nothing had been attempted against the king or his government. 
But what the Guises are aiming at by this new petition is suf- 
ficiently apparent, from the edict in which in the person of the 
king they complain that money and men are everywhere col- 

' Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, and Philip 11-, master of Tranche Comte. 

1560.] BULLINaER. 143 

lected under the pretext of religion, and that for that reason 
they forbid on pain of death any one from furnishing loans to 
the princes and other great nobles of the realm ; and to this 
punishment is further annexed confiscation of property. The 
King of Navarre summoned to court is now on his way thither.' 
He brings his brother along with him, of whose flight you will 
by and by hear something; but take care that it come to the 
ears of no one before the time.^ Troops of cavalry are disposed 
in such a manner up and down in France, as to be able to in- 
tercept the King of Navarre in all directions. The issue is in 
the hands of God, who will perchance bring to nought what seems 
so craftily contrived by them. 

One chief cut ofi", they promise themselves an easy victory 
over all. But those whom they style rebels, Guise himself 
aptly designated, in the assembly of the nobles, as those 
who desire to have a different religion. For when in the petition 
which the admiral presented, the subscribers profess that they 
are quiet and peaceable men, and will always be obedient to the 
king; "There," said he, "are good and obedient subjects for 
you — men who are not satisfied with the established religion, 
who dictate laws to their sovereign, and many things of that 
kind." Believe me, I aflSrm it for certain there is no danger 
of a riot, because none will stir, unless they chance to make a 
hostile attack on the King of Navarre, in the defence of whom I 
trust many will put themselves forward. He has determined to 
recover his rights in the council, but without having recourse to 
arms.^ As I know him to be feeble and vacillating, I have sent 

' He had set out from Nerac in the end of the month of September. 

' The most alarming reports were circulated respecting the intentions of the court. 
The queen mother had warned Coligny and the princess of Conde that the two 
brothers had been sent for only that they might be put to death. Tavanne's Memoirs, 
vol. i., p. 289. Nothing but the energetic attitude of the King of Navarre could turn 
aside the danger. 

' The nobility dissatisfied everywhere offered their services to the King of Navarre. 
If, without taking up arms, he had advanced resolutely to the Loire, drawing after 
him his numerous partisans, and presented himself to the court as the first prince of 
the blood, to claim there the authority to which he was entitled, and overturn the 
government of the Guises, there is no doubt but he would have succeeded. It is the 
opinion of a contemporary and an excellent judge, the Marechal de Vieilleville. 
Memoires, p. 439. 

144 BULLINGER. [1560. 

a man to confirm his resolution. For Beza has disappeared, nor 
is it generally known to what part of the country he is gone. 
Nevertheless one of our brethren knows when he may be ex- 
pected. An embassy has been sent from Spain to prevent the 
meeting of the National Assembly — a mere sham this, since 
the bishops will be permitted only to examine what may be ex- 
pedient to have laid before the general assembly. You know 
doubtless what we should not have thought possible that the in- 
habitants of Lucerne and the five Catholic Cantons, and along 
with them the people of Soleure, have been negotiating about a 
treaty of alliance with the deputies of the Duke of Savoy, which 
bodes no good to us, unless you should at last be touched with 
some compassion for us and anxiety for our safety. 
[Lat. Orig. Autogr. — Arch, of Zurich. Gal. Scripta. Gest. vi. p. 52.] 


Alliance of the Catholic Cantons with the Duke of Saroy — Uncertainty of the news 

from France — Dearth at Geneva. 

Geneva, let November, 1660. 

That the five Catholic Cantons with blinded fury lend their aid 
to the destruction of the Helvetian name,' is to us a subject of 
painful anxiety. Since they are so disgracefully venal, the 
Lord will cause to fall on their own heads, I hope, what they 
are threatening the innocent with. There is still, however, 
some hope of a pacification, if it be true that a congress has 
been appointed for the 28th of this month, though it behoves 
your townsmen to be vigilantly on their guard. The enemy, 
I have no doubt, thinks suddenly to crush you as being unpre- 
pared. For I have learned from the letter of a certain indi- 
vidual that such designs are just now agitated among them. 
With what vigour our neighbours^ will get themselves ready for 

" Allusion to the alliance which the five Catholic Cantons of Swisserland had just 
concluded with the Duke of Savoy, Emmanuel Philibert. One of the secret articles 
of the treaty was the restitution to Savoy of the Pays de Vaud, and the abandon- 
ment of Geneva. 

' The Bernese threatened in the conquests which they had accomplished twentj-- 
four years before by the sword of Franz Negueli. — Hist, de la iSuiase, vol. xii., p. 18. 


1560.1 BULLINGER. 145 

the contest in these conjunctures is not known. Either they 
are concealing with great address their preparations, or they 
are shunning danger by remaining inactive. And it is more 
desirable they should hang back than desert their allies, as they 
formerly did, in the middle of the struggle. We are still wait- 
ing for information respecting what was transacted in the last 
congress. In the meantime, at Dijon, a place of rendevous has 
been fixed for those troopers that are equipped with fire-arms, 
which the French now call pistols, whence they may, at a mo- 
ment's notice, fly to whatever part their orders indicate their 
march. They are about five hundred in number. The same 
station has been named for horsemen armed cap-a-pie^ taken 
out of the ordinary cavalry. Some people fancy that these 
preparations have been got up in favour of the Roman Pontiff, 
as a bugbear to frighten you into subjection to him ; others, 
with greater probability, conjecture that they are intended to 
bring destruction upon us. We have been warned, but precau- 
tions will not avail us much unless God miraculously protect us. 
With confidence and in tranquillity we nevertheless trust that 
the storm will blow over and leave us uninjured. In France 
disorders everywhere prevail, and things seem coming to a crisis. 
Where Beza is, or what he is about, I know not. Of the King 
of Navarre' various rumours are afloat. My own opinion is 
that perceiving he would have to engage in a conflict with so 
many troops, he has retrograded. A civil war in France is 
then inevitable. The nobility of Brittany, (the ancient Armo- 
ricans are now Britons,) will declare for him. The natives of 
Poitou, and a good number of the inhabitants of Anjou, will 
also join him. From Gascony many will flock to his standard. 
The kingdom will be torn by a wretched and deplorable anar- 
chy. The king is at present at Orleans, where the greater 
part of the municipal magistrates are said to be sentenced to 
be executed, which I can scarcely be brought to believe.* There 

' The King of Navarre had arrived at the court on the 31st of October, after a jour- 
ney full of delays and hesitations, in which he neither knew how to answer to the 
expectations of his partisans, nor how to disconcert his enemies. Once arrived at 
Orleans, he was at the mercy of the Guises. 

" The inhabitants of the town had been disarmed, as being suspected of an incli- 
nation to the religious Reform, and of hatred towards the domination of the Guises. 


146 STUKM. [1560. 

is, indeed, no appearance of an insurrection, but the ungodly 
keep up a turmoil, either because they are really in trepida- 
tion, when no man pursuetli, or rather because they feign to be 
alarmed, that they may throw every thing into confusion. 

I would have written to you at greater length respecting the 
troubles in France, if I had been informed in time of the de- 
parture of our brother. But we happened to be in the consis- 
tory when he came to my house ; so he found no one to speak 
to. Returning after supper I, at last, learned that he was to 
set off on the following morning. My letter would have been 
finished, but as I expected from day to day that something new 
would fall out, and furnish me with fresh matter, I purposely 
delayed to terminate it. About Tilmann,' 1 have as yet de- 
cided nothing. I will write to you on the first opportunity 
what is most advisable to be done. The affair, moreover, does 
not require us to be in any hurry. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and respected brother. I 
beg you to present my best respects to your colleague, and to 
all your family. I write these words, though I have not yet 
seen the brother who is to be the bearer of them. I could have 
wished that greater results had followed from your recommenda- 
tion and that of M. Peter Martyr. You yourself, indeed, partly 
experienced how excessive the dearth of provisions is here, 
and the Duke of Savoy is determined to starve us to death by 
cutting us off from all supplies. My colleagues most cordially 
salute you. Yours, 

John Calvin. 

{Lat. Autog. — Arch, of Zurich. — Gallicana Scripta. Sect, vi., p. 48.] 

DLXXVI.— To Sturm. 

Mission of Hotrnan and Beza to the King of Navarre — Apathy of that prince. 

Geneva, bth November, 1560. 

It happens very unseasonably that for the last twenty days 
no one has left this city to go to Strasbourg, of whose depar- 

' See note, p. 138. 

1560.] STURM. 147 

ture I could get any information, though I made the most dili- 
gent inquiries. For Holbrac, the pastor of our French Church, 
in one of his letters had caused us some uneasiness about Hot- 
man, for he wrote that the rector of the school and all of you 
were oifended at his absence, especially because he had neither 
communicated to you the motive for his departure,' nor sent 
you any excuse for absenting himself so long. I know not 
whether you were acquainted with his expedition. From my- 
self and Beza he wished to have it kept such a secret that when 
he imparted it to an individual who has the reputation of being 
a blab, it was only after he had bound the person in question 
by an oath not to say a word on the subject among any of us. 
A little later I learned that he had been seen at the court of 
the King of Navarre. From there, at last, he wrote to me, but 
it was after an interval of a month that I received his letter. 
Now, as I myself have no difficulty in tolerating these fooleries, 
so I wish that they could be indulgently overlooked by others. 
It will be but what we expect, if your prudence and moderation 
interpose your good offices to prevent any harsher measures from 
being adopted against him, while the cause of his absence is yet 
imknown. But I am so convinced that you will do so, that I deem 
any entreaties and exhortation to that effect quite superfluous. 

His letter had lain by me seven days waiting for a bearer, 
when, contrary to our hopes, Beza was restored to us, having 
escaped, as it were, by a miracle from the greatest dangers. 
From him I learned that, unless he meet with some accident on 
the road, Hotman will be among you before the arrival of this 
letter. I need not say a word, then, of the sluggishness of that 
tortoise,'^ since he shut his ears against all persuasion, and re- 
pudiated the services of a numerous nobility all entirely devoted 
to him. Let him work his own ruin, since all men know that 
he deserves a disgraceful end.^ Nor do I feel much compassion 

' Hotman had gone, it appears, without the authorization of the magistrates of 
Strasbourg to visit the King of Navarre, in order to stimulate his ardour. His 
efforts, as well as those of Beza, had as jet been quite ineffectual. 

" Allusion to the King of Navarre. 

* He had scarcely arrived at Orleans when he was deprived of his liberty, whilst 
the prince of Conde, his brother, was arrested by an order of the king, and saw a 
process commenced which was destined to end, so far as he was concerned, in a sen- 
tence of death. 

148 • BULLINGER. [1560. 

even for his brother whom I had hitherto judged to be quite 
another sort of man. But what will become of the unfortunate 
churches which they have ruined by their inconstancy? It is 
this anxious concern which fills me with anguish. I trust, how- 
ever, that God, in his usual way, will provide better for his 
children. I forbear to mention how much the rasher spirits 
have injured our cause by their silly attempts. Assuredly the 
effects of their ill-timed activity have given the death blow to 
our hopes ; and now the whole fury of the enemy will fall on this 
hapless and unoffending city. Our only consolation lies in the 
protection of God, which, with an entire confidence, we hope 
will be extended to us. 

Farewell, most accomplished and ever honoured sir. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


Unsuccessful issue of Beza's mission to the King of Navarre— Scruples respecting the 
communication of Melancthon's letter — Intolerance of the German Theologians. 

Geneva, Ath December, 1560. 

I made a brief reply to your last letter, honoured brother, 
because our most excellent friend, John Liner, came to me 
when exhausted with a multiplicity of cares I was sitting down 
to supper, and told me that he was urged by his companions to 
take leave of us the following day. Our brother Beza will 
touch upon the principal points of his expedition. Those whom 
we wished to save would listen to no counsels, though, indeed, 
we took all this trouble, not so much for their sake as for that 
of the church. The King of Navarre, as I wrote to you, had 
of his own accord implored my assistance, and begged in a very 
courteous manner that Beza should be sent to him. If he had 
met with a refusal, what clamours would have been raised by 
everybody, that it was all our fault, if things had turned out 
unfortunately ! We should have been reproached, not only with 
timidity, but with perfidiousness and cruelty. Beza accom- 
plished every thing which his duty required of him, not only 

1560,] BULLINGER, • 149 

with fidelity but incredible constancy. A hundred times they 
changed their resolutions. Finally, that fell out, which is now 
a secret to nobody, that the King of Navarre and his brother 
were resolved to rush on their ruin.^ If our advice had been 
attended to, without a drop of blood being shed, they would 
have effected their purpose. This was what we always aimed 
at. Now everybody is plunged in despair, because the soldiery 
are everywhere let loose, as in a conquered country. And yet 
our neighbours,^ who blew the flames of sedition, now cast all 
the blame on us. But I will pass them by for the present. 

I cannot, for sundry reasons, comply with your demand to 
have sent to you those letters of Philip's,^ in which he undis- 
guisedly professes himself to be of our opinion. They are not 
numerous, and are written in such a spirit that you yourself 
will perceive that they contain things which he poured confi- 
dentially into my bosom, but which would afford matter of ridi- 
cule to certain, that is, to unfriendly persons ; to others, again, 
who were less intimately acquainted with him, they would 
hardly be intelligible. Some consideration for the memory of 
the dead should also have weight with us, which would certainly 
suffer by the revelation of some things which he wrote to me. 
Mixed up with them are others which it would certainly do me 
honour to have made public, but they would be obnoxious at the 
same time to the malicious carpings of Flaccius, and such like 
fellows. And that reminds me that when your letter was deli- 
vered to me I had already dispatched one-half of my reply to 
Heshusius. In it I determined to confute him, not so much by 
dispassionate argument as by an irrepressible burst of indigna- 
tion. His baseness is so intolerable that it might well call for 
a lapidation.'' We are very sorry to learn that the population 

' The Prince of Oonde, arrested by the king's order, turned towards the Cardinal 
de Bourbon, and addressed him in the following words : " Sir, with your fine pro- 
mises you have delivered your brother over to death." He then repented, no doubt, 
but too late, to have lent a deaf ear to Calvin's advice, and surrendered himself to 
the fury of his enemies. 

' The conspirators of Lyons. 

^ See note, p. , 

■• The names of Flaccius, Heshusius, and Westphal, recall to our minds whatever was 
virulent in the intolerance of the Sacramentarians. In the eyes of these men, Zwin- 
gli, BuUinger, and Calvin were " Anabaptists and disciples of Servetus." 

150 SULCER. [1560. 

of Glaris is still kept in suspense.' But Moab, in his pride, 
■will dash himself to pieces, and beyond all doubt, God is driv- 
ing headlong these Cyclops, that while they plot mischief against 
others they may compass their own destruction. Let them fall 
into their own snares, but let us stand firm on our own founda- 
tion. I abstain from writing any thing about the troubles in 
France, lest I should give uncertain intelligence. Ere long 
you will learn something. 

Farewell, most accomplished and honoured brother. Best 
wishes for the health of M. Peter Martyr, M. Gualter, and your 
other fellow pastors. May the Lord protect, govern, and bless 
you all. We are in such jeopardy every moment that many 
despair, many are anxious, and others laugh. We, therefore, 
commend ourselves to your prayers. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. Autog. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 i.] 


The sending of a Pastor to the Church of St. Marie aux Mines — The arrival of the 
King of Navarre at the court — Arrestation of the Prince of Conde. 

Geneva, lltA December, 1560. 

To US, also, the news of the death of our most excellent bro- 
ther, Peter Marbusius,^ was very afflicting. His integrity and 
sincere zeal had been demonstrated by undoubted proofs. His 
like is not everywhere to be found ; for, though with too much 
eagerness many thrust themselves into the ministry, yet few 
possess that talent which warrants their confidence, and still 
more rare are these virtues, that piety, ardent zeal, and constancy 
which are nevertheless especially necessary to render men fit- 
ting ministers. But God, having compassion on that little 
church, has provided to our hands a successor who will alleviate 
their afiliction for the death of their pastor, because in no re- 

' The Catholic cantons refused to maintain Glaris in the confederation, unless mass 
was re-established in four parishes of this country. This quarrel was not appeased 
till the 3d July, 1564, by mutual concessions between the two contending parties. 

"Pastor of the Church of Sainte Marie aux Mines in the Comte of Montebelliard. 

1560.] SULCER. 151 

spect will he be found, we hope, inferior to his predecessor ; for 
besides his other gifts we have always remarked in him a singu- 
lar simplicity and probity. I am, therefore, perfectly confident 
that he will prove to your German pastor a no less suitable and 
welcome than faithful fellow-workman ; and as far as I can dis- 
cover from what the latter has written to me, he, in his turn, will 
hold out a helping hand to his new brother, that with pious and 
holy concord they may vigorously ply their task of advancing 
the kingdom of Christ. Not very long ago I received from 
you a couple of letters. I was about to send an answer to 
them by your countryman, Oswald, the bearer of the former, 
but when in passing by here he supped very merrily with us, 
he had the misfortune two days afterwards to break his leg 
while on his journey. 

Respecting affairs in France, 1 have nothing but this to write 
to you : the King of Navarre, after we had conceived the high- 
est hopes of his magnanimity and perseverance, suddenly chang- 
ing his resolution, set out for the court. Immediately after his 
arrival his brother was arrested. He always warmly approved 
of my counsels, and those of Beza, which were certainly both 
safe and not less consistent with his dignity than conducive 
to his own advantage and the welfare of the church ; for it was 
always our wish to secure his elevation as well as to guard 
against the effusion of even one drop of blood. And our plans 
had been so well laid, that, without violence or tumult, he would 
have triumphed over all his adversaries. But, as he is natu- 
rally of a weak and pusillanimous disposition, he was partly 
deceived by fallacious promises, and partly he imposed on him- 
self; for he never apprehended what was clear to every one, 
that the Guises would venture to lay violent hands on his bro- 
ther, but no sooner had they carried their audacity to this pitch 
than their insolence increased, for it is scarcely possible to ex- 
press with what violence they give loose to their outrages in 
the very bosom of France.' And now when nearly all men 

' The Cardinal of Lorraine had just issued the most severe orders everywhere 
against the Reformed. He enjoined the governors of provinces "to chastise without 
pity the madmen who cause so much scandal against the honour of God, and to keep 
a stiff hand in punishing those fine preachers, that people might hear no more of 
them."— Nov., 1560. MSS., Colbert, Library of Paris. 


STURM. [1560. 

were struck witli consternation, and tlie greater part, as it were 
paralyzed by so impetuous a torrent of fury, behold again, con- 
trary to our expectations, and all of a sudden, the hand of God 
has revealed itself. For the death of the young king,' of which 
the report is no doubt spread about among you, also must neces- 
sarily produce a notable change in every thing. 

Farewell, distinguished sir and honoured brother. May the 
Lord always stand by you, govern and protect you, and enrich 
you daily with his gifts. My colleagues, especially Viret and 
Beza, cordially salute you. I desire you, in my name, to sa- 
lute yours. Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 h.] 

DLXXIX.— To Sturm. 

Death of King Francis II — Inconsiderate ardour of the Reformed — Moderating action 

of Calvin. 

Geneva, 16th December, 1560. 

Did you ever read or hear of anything more opportune than 
the death of the king? The evils had reached an extremity for 
which there was no remedy, when all of a sudden God shows 
himself from heaven. He who pierced the eye of the father, 
has now struck the ear of the son.^ My only apprehension is 

' See the following letter. 

*The young King Francis II. died (5th December) of an abscess in the ear, as his 
father had from a splinter of Montgomery's lance that entered his eye. This unex- 
pected event, which put a term to the most cruel persecution, was considered by the 
Reformed as a judgment of God, and the sentiment expressed by Calvin, is likewise 
developed in some perses of Theodore Beza : 

Tuque, Henrice, malis dum consultoribus utens 

Sitis piorum sanguinem. 
Ipse tuo vecors inopina caede peremptus 
< Terram imbuisti sanguine, 

Henrici deinceps sectans vestigia patris 

Franciscus, infelix puer, 
Clementem Christum surda dum negligit aure 

Aure putrefacta corruit. 

1560.] STUKM. 153 

lest some persons in the excess of their triumph defeat the hopes 
of an amelioration in our condition. For one can hardly believe 
how inconsiderately many people exult, nay, wanton in their 
joy. They wish to transform the whole world in an instant, 
and because I do not countenance their folly they tax me with 
supineness. But to me it is enough that God approves of my 
diligence, and even more than enough to have in my favour the 
testimony of impartial and moderate men: these are not in a 
majority it is true, but I prefer their calm judgments to the 
noisy outcries of the multitude. They would wish me to act 
along with the King of Navarre in his turbulent projects, as if 
indeed, supposing him to be the most sagacious and vigorous of 
mortals, it was in his power to grant what they so preposterously 
demand. I on the contrary am so opposed to this precipitancy 
that it gave me no small accession of joy to learn that his 
brother was unwilling to quit his prison. I had already pre- 
viously given my advice to such an effect, so that I rejoice the 
more heartily, that what I deemed the most salutary proceeding 
has spontaneously suggested itself to their minds. And cer- 
tainly it will be a suitable and compendious method of crushing 
the enemy, if the victor retire after the justice of his cause has 
been recognized; for this being accomplished they must neces- 
sarily be condemned. To these considerations add this: that 

Versuti, fatui, surdi, haec spectacula, reges 
Vel sapere vel mori jubent. 

(Arch, of Cassel.) 

Tool of bad men, Henry, thy thirst of blood 

Fit retribution found, 
From thy pierced eyeball gushed a purple flood 

Which crimsoned all the ground. 

Following thy father in his mad career, 

Francis, unhappy youth. 
Thou felt'st God's arrow cleave thy guilty ear 

Fast closed against God's truth. 

Ye crafty, foolish, dull-eared kings to you 

These awful warnings cry, 
Or now prepare your evil deeds to rue, 

Or in your blindness die. 



all the godly will not be re-instated in their rights without 
creating a certain prejudice.' Already because the crafty knave, 
who is by no means a friend to piety, will have to be dragged 
in to take a part in the business, and because we cannot dis- 
pense with him — the progress will be slower. Therefore in so 
perplexed a state of affairs, it is desirable that people in the be- 
ginning should content themselves with obtaining for those who 
have been exiled from their homes and stripped of their 
property, a restoration to their primitive condition ; their next 
object should be to secure liberty to the pious worshippers of 
God to abstain from all pollutions and to hold private assemblies 
to adore God. Should all acts of cruelty cease and fear of peril 
be removed, a wonderful revolution will take place in a short 
time. But I cannot persuade everybody of this. The greater 
part rush on with turbulent impetuosity. At the same time, 
however, just as if the King of Navarre had instructed me re- 
specting his intentions, I will go on, as I have begun, stimu- 
lating them to be of his party. We are not yet prepared for 
the measure which you thought should be attempted. 

Farewell, most accomplished and respected sir. May the 
Lord always stand by you and enrich you with all blessings. I 
beg you to present my respects to all friends. 

[Laf. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLXXX. — To THE Ministers of Paris.^ 

Counsels respecting his conduct addressed to the King of Navarre. 

Geneva, December, 1560. 

To let the King know that three points are especially to be 
examined : First, that the liberation of the prisoner do not take 

• Sturm on this point shared the apprehensions of Calvin : "Even if there was the 
most certain prospect of establishing the gospel in France, nevertheless that kingdom 
will never enjoy an uninterrupted tranquillity." 

"Without an address or date — December 1560. This memorial dictated by Calvin 
and containing the expression of the views and hopes of the Reformed party on the 
death of the young king, Francis II., was destined for the King of Navarre. The eyes 


place before his sentence, and the whole process be thoroughly 
revised,' that afterwards there may remain no spot or blame on 
his character, which is a thing which will contribute to his per- 
sonal satisfaction, and prevent him from being again troubled 
or molested in time to come, if any opportunities of offering him 
such molestation should occur. For by this means a door will 
be shut against all future annoyance. It will also have for con- 
sequence the relief of the other prisoners and a good settlement 
of the whole cause. Without this we should be continually 
obliged to begin again. Now the said king can see that this 
may be done without either danger or difficulty, as soon as the 
cause shall be revised before competent judges, such as you 
must now have, and of whom we hope you have already a sufficient 
number to begin with. 

The second point is the principal one, because on it every- 
thing depends. It is to establish a council of regency. In this 
affair, if the king does not show a great deal of firmness at the 
very outset, there is danger that his fault may be very difficult 
to repair. To consent that a widow, a foreigner and an Italian 
woman, should have the principal power, would not only turn 
out very much to his own discredit, but would prove so prejudicial 
to the crown that he would be everlastingly blamed for such re- 
missness. To grant her as many honours as possible will not 
hinder him from retaining the highest for himself. But however 
he may act in that respect, it is above all necessary to insist on 
establishing a council which can only be done by the Estates, 
and the said king is well aware that it would not be prudent to 
go about the business in any other manner, and even if the 
council could be well established just now without their concur- 
rence, still the precedent would be a bad one. 

Now inasmuch as the Estates which had been convoked have 

of all were then fixed on this prince, and the minds of all were in suspense. To con- 
voke in haste the Estates General, to appoint a council of regency from which Catherine 
of Mediuis should be excluded, to bring the Guises to a trial, to establish in fine 
a moderate religious liberty — such were the counsels addressed to the king by 

'The Prince of Conde, condemned to death on the 26th November, 1560, and de- 
clared iuaocent by a sentence of the Parliament, on the loth June, 1561. 


no commission to undertake this business,' it would be necessary 
in the form of an amendment to convoke them anew, for some 
term not too distant, and in the mean time by some provisional 
measure to establish a temporary government in which it is very 
possible there will be disputes and opposition, when we reflect 
that the adverse party to maintain themselves in power will 
allege things which are indeed already laid before the board. 
But this point must be insisted on, viz: that those possessing 
rights cannot be deprived of them without an examination of 
the cause. And having secured some moderate and tolerable 
measure of a provisional kind, it will be sure to be confirmed; 
for the Estates will make no difficulty in doing what is desirable 
according to reason and equity. 

There is one evil which it will be difficult to remedy all at 
once, that is, to cashier those who have had so much vogue.^ It 
would in that case be necessary to deliberate, whether it will be 
better, to assail them vigorously at once and without any delay, 
or to put oiF the attack, till criminal proceedings can be instituted 
against them. Were it possible, it would be a good thing to 
make them keep watch by the body of the defunct, as they 
themselves made others perform the same ceremony.^ But 
whatever is done, unless they are degraded upon solid and clearly 
ascertained grounds, they will have leisure to strengthen them- 
selves; the best method of proceeding then seems to be, to watch 
narrowly all their motions, till it be possible to handle them as 
they have deserved. Remark, moreover, that if they have even 
an appearance of influence they will avail themselves of it to 
intrigue and practise mischief; so that if you would prevent 
them from doing evil, you must keep a tight bridle over them ; 

' The Estates General, convoked on the 10th Decemher at Orleans, had but a re- 
stricted commission relating to religious questions. De Thou, lib. xxv. 

*"When the partisans of Guise," says Beza, "knew that they had nothing further 
to hope for, they went and barricaded themselves in their houses, a prey to terror, 
till they were assured by the queen mother and the King of Navarre, that no harm 
should be done them." Hist. Eccl. vol. i. p. 460. 

^The obsequies of the king were performed without pomp, and in a manner that 
but ill corresponded to the royal dignity. The Sieurs of Lansac and de la Brosse ac- 
companied his body to St. Denis, while the Guises apologized for their absence by 
alleging the necessity they were under of watching over their niece Mary Stuart. 
Hist. Eccl. vol. i. p. 403. De Thou, lib. xxvi. 


by no means allow them a long term to fortify their power, but 
strive to get the start of them. If it were possible, that their 
trial could be got up before the Estates will be convoked for the 
second time, nothing could be more desirable. 

^he third point is concerning religion ; and here all that is to 
be desired is that the liberty of presenting petitions on that 
subject, which was accorded by the first edict, should still be 
maintained. True it is, the edict was changed, and the mouths 
of the faithful shut, so that they durst not breathe a syllable 
about such matters. But because this change was brought 
about by violence, and was contrary to the honour of the king, 
it seems highly probable that such a liberty will be permitted 
without any diflSculty. Now, if petitions are received, the least 
thing surely we can expect from them is that they will procure 
a bare provision, not very cordially granted perhaps, by which 
an end will be put to persecutions exercised against those who 
shall not seek to breed riots, or extort any thing by violence. 
For it will be quite enough that those who cannot with a safe 
conscience go to mass have permission to stay away from it ; 
and to secure such persons from being denounced as void of re- 
ligion, that they shall be allowed to assemble themselves to 
pray to God, and hear his word with express prohibitions and 
interdiction, under severe penalties, to go beyond the limits 
prescribed by the permission, which might afterwards, however, 
be rendered more favourable to them. In the mean time, it 
might be enjoined that all those who should consent to it might 
be enrolled in presence of the officers and agents of the king in 
each parliament of justice, and that some of the most influential 
members of the society be held responsible for all ; that is to 
say, they might represent as guilty of a revolt the individuals 
who should infringe the royal ordinance. 

Having exposed these matters, you may remind the said king 
that I have not suggested these precautions like one who is in 
a place of security, and does not reflect on the struggles which 
he will have to maintain ; but I imitate those physicians who 
prescribe what is necessary, that the patient, if he does not 
comply with all the articles of the prescription, may, at least, 
observe it as closely as possible. 


You may also remind him that till he have rid himself of all 
that vermin, he will neither be able to follow good counsels, 
(for he will be turned aside from them at every moment,) nor 
will God permit him to prosper. Entreat him to read the 101st 
Psalm, from which he will learn that God will never dwell with 
him till he be cleansed from such pollutions. Moreover, that 
inasmuch as God has endowed him with an easy, good-humoured 
disposition, he should the more carefully strive to have about 
him none but such as will give him courage to do his duty. 

And, in conclusion, let him know that I beseech him to re- 
ward me by furnishing me with as ample matter for rejoicing 
as he has hitherto done for shedding tears. 

[Fr. Orig., corrected hy Calvin. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 145.] 

DLXXXI. — To THE Reformed Churches of France.' 

Project of assembling a council— Conditions requisite for its legitimacy. 

Geneva, December, 1560. 

To put an end to the divisions which exist in Christendom, 
it is necessary to have a free and universal council. 

Its liberty consists in three points ; viz., in the place, the 
persons, and in the manner of proceeding. 

In respect to the place, if there be not a secure access for 
all those who are to be heard in discussing the matters which 
form the subject of controversy, it is perfectly clear that this 
will be shutting the door on them. Wherefore it would be re- 
quisite to select a town situated in the midst of the nations that 
are to be present at the council, and that all the neighbouring 
provinces around it, through whose countries it should be neces- 

' Same date as the preceding memorial. An article of the treaty of Cateau-Cam- 
bresis stipulated the asaembling of a general council for the reform of abuses and the 
re-establishment of religious unity in Europe. But what were the characters which 
such a meeting should present, in order to be equally accepted as a legitimate tribu- 
nal by Protestants and Catholics? Such is the question to which Calvin replied in 
a memorial intended, no doubt, for the Reformed churches of France. 


sarj to pass, promise and swear to respect the safe conduct of 
those who repair to it, both in going and on their return. 

Respecting the persons, first of all, it would be an iniquitous 
thing should none but the bishops have a decisive voice in it, 
since it is sufiiciently notorious that they are parties concerned, 
and cannot therefore be competent judges in their own cause. 

What is more, should the authority which they insist on being 
allowed them, vet it is certain that not one of them is free, in- 
asmuch as they are all bound and subjected by the oath which 
they have taken to the Pope to maintain his see, a thing totally 
incompatible with the liberty of a Christian council. 

The remedy would be that out of the party which desires 
and demands the reformation of the church, both in doctrine 
and in morals, should be elected persons, who, though not pos- 
sessed of a deciding vote, should yet be empowered to oppose 
all resolutions repugnant to the word of God, and that they 
should be entitled to be heard in all their protestations, while 
demonstrating by solid reasons the grounds of their opposition 
to the things which the bishops might be inclined to enact. 
Above all, it is not to be tolerated that the Pope should preside 
in the council as chief; that is to say, with the pretensions he 
has recently put forth of making every thing depend on him- 
self and his good pleasure. But even admitting that the chief 
place should be assigned to him, it should be an indispensable 
condition of presidency that he, in all things, submit to the 
council, and take an oath to observe whatever should be decided 
and concluded in it, abdicating the domination which he has 
usurped ; the bishops, likewise, should swear to conform to the 
general decision, and support it when it shall have corruptions 
and abuses to eradicate in doctrine as well as in ceremonies 
and morals. 

As to the manner of proceeding, it would be altogether nu- 
gatory, if the custom which has been introduced since a short 
time should be followed, which is, that those who desire a refor- 
mation should propose their measures verbally, or in writing, 
and then retire, leaving their bishops, the prelates, to decide 
whatever they may think fit. It is requisite then that what- 
ever is ill-advised may be redressed, and also that it be per- 


mitted to reply to all erroneous opinions by sound and conclu- 
sive reasons. 

It is, likewise, necessary to have determined beforehand the 
order in which the matters that will come before them ought 
to be treated, and to know that in the first place the points 
and articles of doctrine, which are now the subject of contro- 
versy, should be fully discussed ; that this once settled, they 
may proceed to regulate the ceremonies, and finally the govern- 
ment of the church. 

The articles of doctrine, on which at present the parties dis- 
pute, respect the service of God, and the point at issue between 
them is, whether it ought to be regulated purely and simply by 
the sacred Scriptures ; or if, indeed, men have been at liberty 
to lay down laws of their own respecting it, and if their tra- 
ditions are binding upon souls on pain of being chargeable 
with mortal sins if they neglect them. Under that head are 
comprised vows, professions of celibacy, confession, and things 
of the same kind. The question that will next present itself 
is, upon what we found our hopes of salvation, and whether we 
are justified by the merit of our own works, or the gratuitous 
mercy of God. Connected with this question are those of free- 
will, penances, purgatory, and others of the sort. It will be 
proper to examine, at the same time, how we should invoke 
God in conformit}'^ with the full assurance of our faith, and the 
right solution of this question puts an end to the intercession 
of the saints. 

In regard to the second point, that of ceremonies, there will 
be here an occasion for treating of all those things which have 
been borrowed from the shadows of the law, of the number of 
the sacraments with their accessory matters, etc. 

The third point, concerning the government of the church, 
includes the definition of the ofiice of bishops or pastors, in or- 
der to ascertain to what persons this title belongs, and what is 
the scope and bearing of ranks, degrees, and orders, along with 
privileges and things of a like character. 

Now, it would not be enough to hold a council, unless it were 
to be universal; that is to say, if the object of it were not to 
appease all the troubles of Christendom. True it is, that each 

1561.] THE KING OF NAVARRE. 161 

king and prince can very well remedy the disorders of his own 
states by a national council, when he shall not find his neigh- 
bours disposed and agreeing in sentiment and desires with him- 
self. But should a partial council be held, which, notwithstand- 
ing, should be called a universal one, this would only kindle 
with greater violence, and spread more widely the brands of 
discord. Wherefore, it is indispensably necessary that those 
who demand a reformation, should accept the council which 
will be held, in order that all Christendom may be united, or 
that those who shall be unwilling to range themselves under the 
banners of unity and concord be declared and held for schis- 

[Fr. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 145.] 

DLXXXII, — To THE King of Navarre.' 

He exhorts him to pursue with ardour the restoration of the gospel in France. 

Geneva, 16th January, 1561. 

Sire : — If I thought that my letters were disagreeable to you 
I should fear to importune or annoy you in writing them. But 
the confidence I entertain emboldens me, because as I feel that 
you are convinced of the respect I bear towards you, and of 
my good intentions to strive to render you service, so I am 
sure you will receive graciously the testimony which I endea- 
vour to give of them. Wherefore, sire, though I am aware 
that you have no need of my counsels, yet I do not cease to 
entreat and even exhort you, in the name of God, to be pleased 

' The weakness and ignorance of the King of Navarre had deceived the calcula- 
tions of Calvin, and the just hopes of the Reformed party. " For though," says Beza, 
"both God and the laws called him to the government of the kingdom, and the con- 
sent of the states required it of him, in which he would neither have found want of 
counsel nor of force to re-establish every thing, in case of resistance, he was so far 
from supporting his rank that, on the contrary, he contented himself with the shadow 
of it, leaving willingly the body and the substance to the queen mother, without her 
experiencing any difficulty."— /Tist. Eccl , vol. i., p. 564. Nevertheless, as lieutenant 
general of the kingdom, the King of Navarre had it in his power to contribute greatly 
to the consolidation and progress of the Bifcrn.ed churches. Calvin spared this 
prince neither warnings nor admonitions. 



to take courage, in order to do combat courageously and more and 
more overcome all the difficulties with which I know you to be 
surrounded. And, in truth, the re-establishment of such a king- 
dom is an object for which we should spare nothing, and still 
more it is our most imperious duty to strive that the reign of 
the Son of God, true religion and the pure doctrine of salvation, 
which are things more precious than the whole world, should be 
completely re-established. The greatest obstacle that stands 
in your way seems to me easy to be overcome, whenever you 
shall be pleased, sire, to remonstrate frankly with the adverse 
party,^ and let her feel keenly that she ought not to apply in 
thwarting you the power which she holds only by your favour. 
For the rest, sire, there is one subject of which I have thought 
it good and expedient to remind you, that your majesty may 
be pleased to provide for it according to your wisdom. It is 
not my natural disposition, nor my habit, to intrude and inter- 
fere. But it seemed to me to be my duty to recommend to you 
the bearer of this letter, that you may learn from him, by word 
of mouth, the matter in question, when your good pleasure shall 
decide upon giving him an audience. 

Sire, having humbly commended myself to your indulgent 
favour, I will pray our heavenly Father to have you in his 
keeping, to sustain you by his power, and increase in you all 
good and prosperity. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DLXXXIII.— -To THE Queen of Navarre.^ 

He congratulates her on her conversion, and lays before her, her principal duties as a 

Christian princess. 

Geneva, l&th January, 1561. 

Madame : — I cannot adequately express my joy at the letter 
you were pleased to write to my brother Monsieur de Cha- 

' The regent Catherine De Medicis. 

'Without date. Written no doubt at the same time as the preceding 16th January, 


lonnd,' seeing how powerfully God had wrought in you in a few 
hours. For though already long ago he had sown in you some 
good seed, you know at present that it was almost choked by 
the thorns of this world; as for want of daily exercising our- 
selves in the holy Scriptures, the ti'uth which we had known 
little by little drops away, till at length it totally disappears, un- 
less our compassionate Father provide a remedy. Now of his 
infinite goodness he has made provision to keep you from coming 
to that extremity. It is true that those who yield to indiffer- 
ence, take a pleasure in their inactivity, not perceiving that it is 
a mortal lethargy. But when it pleases God to rouse us up and 
draw us effectually to the fear of his holy name, and kindle in 
our hearts an ardent desire to serve his glory, that is an in- 
quietude happier and more desirable than all the delights, plea- 
sures, and enjoyments, in which poor worldings lose themselves. 
I speak familiarly, Madame, believing that you will without 
hesitation give me leave to do so, as moreover, I have derived 
this advantage from your letter that it has given me an occasion 
and a liberal access to write to you. 

Wherefore, Madame, I pray you to prize the mercy of God 
as it deserves, not only because it has brought you all at once 

Daughter of Henry d'Albret King of Navarre and of Margaret de Valois, the sister 
of Francis I., Jane d'Albret joined to the talents of her mother, superior judgment 
find a heroic soul. Betrothed in her childhood to the Duke of Cleves, and married 
in 1548 to Antony de Bourbon, Duke of Vendome, she inherited a few years afterwards 
the kingdom of Navarre. The Reform had already long before penetrated into this 
country, and the preachers of Geneva found support and favour at the court of Nerac. 
"But the queen," says Brantome, "who was a young, beautiful, and very virtuous 
princess, and who loved, moreover, quite as much a dance as a sermon, took no great 
pleasure in this innovation in religion." It was only at a later period, during the 
process of the Prince of Conde and the captivity of the King of Navarre, that this 
princess, taught by misfortune, showed herself more attentive to evangelical exhorta- 
tions : — "Seeing," says Beza, "that the trust she had reposed in men was deceived, 
and that all human succour failed her, being touched to the heart by the love of God, 
she had recourse to him with all humility, and in sorrow and tears. . . so that in the 
time of her greatest tribulation she made a public profession of the pure doctrine, 
being fortified by Francis Le Guay, otherwise called Bois Normand, and Henry, 
faithful ministers of the word of God." Hist. EccL, vol. i., p. 326. 

'A pseudonym of Theodore Beza. Sent on the 30th July, 1560, to Nerac, "to in- 
struct the King and Queen of Navarre in the word of God," he acquitted himself 
successfully of this mission, and had commenced his journey back to Geneva in the 
month of November of the same year. 


out of the darkness of death to show you the light of life in his 
Son, who is the true sun of righteousness, but also because he has 
deeply imprinted on your heart a faith in his gospel, giving to it a 
living root, that it may bring forth its due fruits. For you have 
felt by experience how the vanities of this world deaden the know- 
ledge of the truth. We would fain swim between two currents, 
so that the word of God is made cold and of no effect, if the 
power of God be not conjoined therewith. And this is the true 
and perfect covenant which he promises to contract with his own 
children, namely, to impress and engrave his doctrine on their 
inward parts. Having then received so great and inestimable a 
benefit, you have reason to be so much the more zealous to dedi- 
cate yourself (as you do) entirely to Him, who has bound you so 
closely to himself. And whereas kings and princes would often 
wish to be exempted from subjection to Jesus Christ, and are 
accustomed to make a buckler of their privileges under pretence 
of their greatness, being ashamed even to belong to the fold of 
this great Shepherd, do you, Madame, bethink you that the 
dignity and grandeur in which this God of goodness has brought 
you up, should be in your esteem a double tie to bind you to 
obedience to him, seeing that it is from him that you hold every- 
thing, and that according to the measure which each one has 
received, he shall have to render a stricter account. But since 
I see how the Spirit of God governs you, I have more reason to 
render him thanks than to exhort you as if you had need to be 
goaded forward. When, besides, I doubt not but you apply all 
your zeal to that end, as is indeed very requisite, when we re- 
flect on the coldness, weakness, and frailty that is in us. 

Long ago we had already essayed to discharge our duty with 
respect of the king your husband, and even more than once to 
the end that he might quit himself manfully. But you will see 
once more, Madame, by the copy of the letter which we have 
sent to him, what effects your admonition has produced. 

Madame, having very humbly commended myself to your in- 
dulgent favour, I will pray our heavenly Father to have you 
always in his keeping, to govern and direct you by his Spirit, to 
strengthen you by his power, and increase you in all good. 
[Fr. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


DLXXXIV. — To THE Admiral Coligny.^ 

Encomiums on the constancy of the admiral — Recommendation of Geneva. 

Geneva, 16th January, 1561. 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — We have indeed occasion to praise God for the 
singular courage which he has bestowed on us to serve his glory 
and the advancement of the kingdom of his Son. It were to 
be desired that you had many companions to aid you in your 
task, but though others are slow in acquitting themselves of 
their duty, nevertheless you ought to put in practice the saying 
of our Lord, that each should follow cheerfully without looking 
upon others. St. Peter fearing to march by himself said to Jesus 
of John, And this man, what of him? The answer given to 
one man should be applied to all. Let every one go whither 
he shall be called, even if he should not have a single follower, 
though I trust that the magnanimity which God has hitherto 
caused to shine forth in you, will be a good lesson to draw out 
the lukewarm. Even if the whole world should be blind and 
ungrateful, and that it should seem to you that all your pains 
had been laid out in vain, let it satisfy you that God and the 

' Restored to liberty after the conclusion of the peace between Spain and France, 
the admiral had openly declared for the Reform. Unshaken by the threats as well as 
by the seductions of the court, be had the courage to present to King Francis II. in 
the assembly of the Notables at Fontainbleau an address from the Protestants of 
Normandy demanding the free exercise of their worship, and added proudly in pre- 
sence of the Guises, that in this single province fifty thousand persons were prepared 
to sign their names to this petition. Some months later (November 1561) he quitted 
Chatillon to repair at the peril of his life to the Estates of Orleans. " On leaving his 
house," says Beza, "he was unwilling to dissemble from his vrife (one of the most 
Christian and virtuous ladies of her times) the dangers by which he was going to be 
surrounded, and without expecting from them any prosperous issue, saying, however, 
that he had perfect confidence that God would have compassion on his poor church 
and on the kingdom; exhorting the lady as well as her family to remain constant in 
the doctrine of the gospel, in which they had been rightly instructed, since God had 
given them to know that it was the only true and heavenly food, and that it was their 
duty to think it the greatest happiness to suffer for his name." Hist. Eccl. vol. i., pp. 
392, 393. The sudden death of King Francis II., having disappointed the hopes of 
the Guises, and brought on a change favourable to the Reformed, the admiral did not 
hesitate to have the gospel preached in his own house at Paris. 


angels approve of your conduct. And in reality it ought to 
suffice you that you cannot miss the heavenly crown, after 
having courageously battled for the glory of the Son of God, in 
which consists our eternal salvation. 

For the rest, Monseigneur, I have made bold to address to 
you the bearer of this letter in order that he may expose to you 
an aflfair of which you will have a more ample detail from his 
mouth, whenever you shall be pleased to grant him an audience. 
I believe that after having listened to him you will not find the 
advice amiss nor the execution of it importunate; at least you 
will in your wisdom conclude, that I have nothing at heart but 
the repose and prosperity of the kingdom. I do not dissemble 
the desire I feel that some measures should be adopted in favour 
of this poor city, in order that it may not be exposed to pillage.' 
But as I am convinced that the safety of this place needs not 
to be recommended to you, you will not blame the anxiety I feel 
respecting it, especially as that anxiety tends to the public good 
of France, and is intimately connected with it. 

Whereupon, in conclusion, Monseigneur, after humbly com- 
mending myself to your indulgent favour, I will supplicate our 
heavenly Father to keep you under his protection, and increase 
in you the gifts of his Spirit, that his name may be more and 
more glorified in you. 

Your humble servant, 

John Calvin. 

[IV. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

'After the peace of Cateau Canabresis and the restoration of the Duke of Savoy to 
his states, Geneva was constantly threatened with an attack by this prince, supported 
by the pope and Philip II. Emmanuel Philibert asked the Catholic powers to guarantee 
to him beforehand his conquest. But could France abandon Geneva without alien- 
ating the Swiss Cantons from which she drew precious succours ? The independence 
of Geneva was necessary for the security of France. Such was the sense of Calvin's 
representations to the admiral, and of the admiral's to the court, of which the policy at 
this moment appeared more favourable to the Reformed party. 

1561.] THE KING OF FRANCE. 167 

DLXXXV. — To THE King of France.^ 

Reply to the accusations directed against the Church and Seigneury of Geneva. 

Geneva, 28th January, 1561. 

Sire : — Having heard the letters of your majesty, though 
we had a ready excuse to satisfy you, we are nevertheless ex- 
ceedingly sorry that we should be charged with being partly 
the cause of the troubles which have lately taken place in your 
kingdom. The smallness of our state does not permit us to 
allege what services we have rendered to your predecessors, to 
show that we have been as well affected towards the crown of 
France as could have been desired of us. Thus far, sure, our 
good-will has never been wanting in that respect, and the effects 
of it, too, have been manifested as far as God has afforded us 
any opportunity. Wherefore, sire, for the time past, we pray 
your majesty to deign to accept the devotedness which we have 
always and for a long time displayed, and in which we have 
persisted as a proof of the desire which we have to serve you to 
the utmost of our power, for the tranquillity and prosperity of 

' Focus of the propagation of the Reformed religion in the states of the south of 
Europe, the city of Geneva was incessantly exposed to the enmity of the Catholic powers. 
The 23d of January, 1561, the King of France, Charles IX., in a threatening letter to 
the council, complained bitterly of the troubles excited in his kingdom by the pre- 
sence of the preachers that had come from Geneva, and summoned the seigneury to 
recall them. In so difiScult a conjuncture, the council, assembled in an extraordinary 
sitting, invited the ministers to attend its meeting. "After having heard," sa}' the 
registers, "the reading of the said letter, and consulted together, they have replied 
that they are sorry to be blamed in that manner unjustly; that no doubt they cannot 
deny that when any one addressed himself to them, and they considered him a pro- 
per person, they have exhorted him to do his duty to advance the knowledge of the 
gospel in France, as our Lord commands us, but as for the troubles that have arisen in 
France, they are by no means blamable for them, . . . begging the council to reply to 
the king that they are ready fully to justify themselves in his presence of all that is 
imputed to them." — Extraits des Registres, 2Sth January, 1561. Calvin, who was the 
organ of the seigneury, in difficult circumstances, was charged to reply in their name 
to the King of France. " Then he was told to make the reply promptly that it 
might be despatched by the same express that had brought the letter; and further, 
it was enjoined that all the seigneurs here assembled, and all the ministers, should 
keep secret, on pain of death, the contents of the letter, in order that it may appear 
to the public that the king has written to us to our advantage rather than to our dis- 
advantage, which might cause us great prejudice." 

168 THE KING OF FRANCE. [1561. 

your kingdom, and to co-operate, if an opportunity permit us, 
to procure for your majesty that obedience to which, you are enti-. 
tied. But lest it should seem, sire, that under this general ex- 
pression of our sentiments we wish to conceal any thing, we 
protest in verity before God that we have never attempted to 
send persons into your kingdom as your majesty has been told ; 
what is more, such proceedings have never been demanded of 
us, nor has any one ever addressed himself to us for such a pur- 
pose ; so that it will be found that no one, with our knowledge 
and permission, has ever gone from here to preach except a 
single individual who was asked of us for the city of London.' 
Not that we disapprove of true Christianity being re-established 
everywhere, and fo-r that reason we beg your majesty, with 
your council at the same time, not to suppose that we wish to 
perish knowingly, and work the perdition of our souls which 
have been ransomed at so costly a price by the precious blood 
of the Son of God. We could wish, therefore, that the doc- 
trine by which our salvation is assured had free course every- 
where. But we know well also what is within our compass, 
/ and we do not presume even to wish to reform extensive king- 
doms, having quite enough to do to maintain ourselves peaceably 
and in all humility, in the lowly condition in which God has 
placed us. But because the letters bore that that might have 
been done by some of the principal ministers of our town, sup- 
posing (for the expression was ambiguous) that the words were 
meant to be applied to our ministers and pastors who instruct 
us in the word of God, we have summoned them, in order to 
know from themselves what grounds there were for such a 
charge, in order that we might promptly satisfy your majesty. 
They have replied, then, that they do not deny that some per- 
sons have made application to them, and that on their part, when 
they have found that those who had recourse to them were per- 
sons possessing instruction and piety, they have exhorted them 
to exercise their gifts wherever they should go for the advance- 
ment of the gospel. For since they find, and are persuaded 
that the doctrine which they preach is of God, tending to have 
him duly and purely served and honoured, that the grace which 

' Nicholas des Gallars, 


he has bestowed on us by our Lord Jesus Christ should be made 
known, as it is entitled to be, and that all men should be made 
acquainted with the right way of salvation, in order to attain 
it, it is impossible that they should not desire this doctrine to 
be disseminated everywhere, both that God may be glorified, 
and because of the care they are bound to take of all men. 
And in that, sire, they make this excuse, that they by no means 
imagined that they were offending your majesty,' seeing that 
it is the sovereign good of all kings and princes to do homage 
to Him who has appointed them to reign, and that they are 
especially commanded to kiss our Lord Jesus Christ in token of 

With regard to the charge of stirring up disturbances and 
seditions, they protest against ever having entertained any such 
intention, and declare that, on the contrary, they have em- 
ployed all their influence to check and prevent them, that they 
have never given advice to make any innovations, or attempted 
any thing criminal with respect to the established order of the 
state, but have exhorted those who are disposed to listen to 
them to remain in peaceable subjection to their prince. And 
if any disturbances have arisen, it has been to their great regret, 
and certainly not by their having furnished any pretext for them. 
And so far have they been from countenancing any such enter- 
prises, that they would willingly have lent their aid to repress them.^ 
In short, they have declared that they never adhered to any 
violent counsels, nor recommended the taking up of arms, but 
have condemned them ; and Avhat is more, they never advised 
the taking forcible possession of churches, for this express rea- 
son, that they wished to attempt nothing without the authority 
and permission of the late sovereigns, your predecessors. And 
of all such charges they have offered to justify themselves, and 
prove their innocence, whenever it shall please your majesty 
to give them a hearing. For our own part, sire, we are so far 
from ever having given our consent to any enterprise that had 
for its object to sow discord and divisions among your subjects, 

' What follows is written by the hand of the secretary of the republic, and was 
dictated by Calvin. 

"Allusion to the conspiracy of Amboise, See the letter of the 16th of April, 1561, 
to the Admiral de Coliguy. 


170 THE CHURCH OF PARIS. [1561. 

or trouble the tranquillity of your state, or expose your pro- 
vinces to danger, that we have given orders and forbidden, on 
pain of rigorous punishments, any of our citizens from taking 
one step in such proceedings ; and when you shall be pleased, 
sire, to inquire into the truth on this subject, you will ifind that 
it was impossible for us to have conducted ourselves with greater 
fidelity, just as we engage for the future to give to your majesty 
no occasion of thinking otherwise of us than as of persons well 
disposed to your person and your very humble servants ; and we 
entreat you, sire, to do us this favour, that having recognized 
that we have not failed in any point of duty towards you, you 
will intimate to us the fact, and your majesty with your coun- 
cil will discover that we are ready and inclined to give you 
every satisfaction. 

Sire, after having very humbly commended ourselves to your 
kind favour, we will pray God to keep you under his holy pro- 
tection, to grant you a long and prosperous life, and increase 
your crown with all blessings. 

Given at Geneva this Thursday, the 28th January, in the 
year of grace, 1561. 

The humble servants of your majesty, the Syndics and Coun- 
cil of Geneva. 
[F?\ Orig. Minute, in the handwriting of Calvin. Arch, of Gen., 1561.] 

DLXXXVI.— To THE Church of Paris.^ 

He apologizes for not being able to send to it new ministers — Advice relating to the 
Council of Trent — Disapprobation of the excesses committed by the Reformed in 
the south of France. 

Geneva, 2&tTi Fehrtiary, 1561. 

Messieurs, and well beloved brethren, I suppose that one of 
our friends has brought you letters, and has apologized to you 

' Decimated by persecution, but recruited by an ardent proselytism, the Church of 
Paris demanded from that of Geneva new ministers. The minister, Flarigny, wrote 
to Calvin : — " If you grant us our request, you will be the cause of so great a progress 
that it is impossible for us to express it." — Letter of the 22d February, 1560, Library 
of Geneva, vol. 197 a. The Church of Geneva could not subscribe to these demands 

1561.] THE CHURCH OF PARIS. 171 

orally, because we have not been able to satisfy your desire in 
sending you the man you demand. For, first, there is one of 
our colleagues at the present moment elsewhere,^ and to deprive 
ourselves of two, all at once, would be rather too much, seeing 
that some of our society are ill, whose place we are obliged to 
supply as if they were absent. And though it is with much 
ado I drag myself along, still from the urgency of circumstances 
I am to be considered, as it were, the most robust of our body. 
It seems to me, also, that you should have some consideration for 
the threats that have been pronounced against us, which are 
so harsh and violent as to astonish many people. But besides 
all that, the person you demand is fallen ill a second time, and 
so gravely that should we burst like a thunderbolt upon him, it 
would be impossible for him to stir. 

With regard to the point about which you ask our advice, we 
have not yet heard any thing of it f though by common rumour 
it has come to our ears that a council was to be assembled. 
No one has even feigned that there was any necessity for in- 
forming us about it.^ Now we did not know if it would be ad- 
visable to intermeddle, for there are many heads difficult to 
manage. At present we shall tell you, in a few words, our opi- 
nion. It is that you have no occasion to concern yourselves 
about the council, nor to send to it either confession or protes- 
tation. First, for an excellent reason, it would not be received, 
nor would there be any means of presenting it ; and even if that 
would be done, you would only give occasion for stirring up vio- 
lent tumults without any useful results. For your enemies 
would have excellent pretexts for falling foul of you outrage- 
ously, as having exposed the country to civil wars. Moreover, 

continually renewed without depriving itself of its own pastors, and exposing the 
city to the redoubtable resentment of the King of France. See the preceding letter, 
as well as the Latin correspondence of the Reformer, February, 1561. Charged with 
replying to the ministers of Paris, Calvin, at the same time, gave them advice on se- 
veral important points of policy and religion. 

' Nicholas des Gallars, called to reorganize the French Church at London. 

' Respecting the line of conduct they were to follow in case a general council 
should be assembled. See the memorial to the Reformed churches, page 158. 

' Convoked at Trent for the feast of Easter, 1561, the council was not opened till the 
month of January, 1562. This assembly realized none of the conditions required by the 
Reformed, and which were necessary for assuring the religious pacification of Europe. 

172 THE CHURCH OF PAEIS. [1561. 

you ought to let the danger pass by, because there will be abun- 
dance of other opponents, and it is possible they will be asking 
for a great deal more than they are authorized to do. When 
you shall have considered every thing closely, you will find that 
there is neither opening nor grounds for your interference, and 
that in this matter you will do well to fold your hands and sit 
still. The reason is difi"erent with respect to the Estates.' For 
there it will be necessary for you to endeavour to make all the 
remonstrances in your power, that the council is neither Catholic 
nor legitimate, seeing that it is but a continuation of what has 
been done heretofore, to ratify resolutions full of errors and 
blasphemies, and entirely contrary to the word of God. There 
will be no liberty to examine the matters which are the subject 
of difference between us, nor to obtain any good reformation 
of abuses, as the pope seeks not to consult the necessities of 
the church, but only to maintain his own tyranny ; and never- 
theless there is need that the king with his council should pro- 
vide for those things in a better manner, without expecting any 
thing from those who care not whether they bring confusion 
and ruin on his state, country, and subjects, provided their own 
profits suffer no diminution. That subject might be touched 
upon in a more conciliatory manner, but may God be pleased to 
give you counsel thereupon. 

Of the other things which you shall have to demand, your de- 
liberation will depend upon the state in which you will find mat- 
ters at the time. Your object, nevertheless, should always be 
(and all your efforts should be directed singly to the attainment 
of this object), that some tolerable provision be made for secur- 
ing your rights, and that poor innocent people should not be 
molested, nor persecuted, nor blood wantonly shed as hereto- 
fore.2 You will advise among yourselves, also, how you may 

' The Estates General, held at Orleans the 13th December, 1560, had been prorogued 
to the month of May, at Pontoise. They were to deliberate in this new assembly 
respecting the reform of religious abuses, and the means of restoring peace to the 
church. — De Thou, Lib. xxvii. 

= In the Estates of Orleans, Jacques de Sillery, Comte of Rochefort, had presented 
to the king, in the name of the nobility, a petition demanding the free exercise of 
religious worship for the Protestants. This petition was to have been presented for 
the deliberation of the Estates prorogued to Pontoise. 

1561.] JOHN LENING. 173 

make all lawful efforts to procure for yourselves such favour as 
may enable you to obtain your request. 

To give yourselves up to extravagant excesses of joy, and to 
take possession of the churches, except by permission, are 
things which you know I have never approved of. As often 
as it has been done, it was in despite of me.' If they go on in 
this manner, we shall leave the event in the hands of God. We 
are afraid that this heat will be cooled by some rude storm.* 

Whereupon, commending ourselves to you and to your fer- 
vent prayers, we will supplicate our heavenly Father to have 
you in his keeping, to fortify you by the power of his Spirit, 
to direct you in all your affairs, and to give to them a prosper- 
ous issue. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DLXXXVII.— To JoHxX Lening.3 

Hostilities of the Duke of Savoy — Diversion in the valleys of Piedmont and at Nice- 
Unexpected preservation of Geneva, 

Geneva, 14th March, 1561. 

As your letter testifies how deep an interest you take in the 
state of this city, and what anxiety its dangers occasion you, 
honoured brother, I return you most sincere thanks for your 
pious and fraternal zeal. What you indicate with sufficient and 
more than sufficient probability has been already discovered ; for 
the tendency of that clandestine league, purchased at the ex- 
pense of so much penury by the Duke of Savoy, was no mystery 

' In some localities in the south of France, the Protestants had taken forcible pos- 
session, and in spite of Calvin's remonstrances, of several edifices consecrated to the 
Catholic worship. See the Latin correspondence of the Reformer of the years 1561-'62. 

" What had taken place at Valence is a proof of this. See letter, p. 95. The 
Marechal Damville, also, exercised severe reprisals on the Protestants of Languedoo. 

*An unknown personage, probably a minister of Switzerland. This conjecture is 
confirmed by the following passage of a letter from Lening to Calvin, February 22nd, 
1661. "Bullinger will be able to tell you who Lening is, and where he Uvea and 
with what zeal he has hitherto preached the word of God, for more than thirty years." 
Library of Paris, Dupuy, 102. 

174 JOHN LENING. [1561. 

to any one. He had indeed repeatedly attempted to form an 
alliance with the whole Helvetic nation, but not succeeding in 
his project, he has had recourse to the five Catholic cantons. 
At length he attracted to his schemes the inhabitants of Soleure 
and Fribourg, not that he hoped they would openly and de- 
claredly take up arms against this city; but because, when the 
Swiss should be by his combinations distracted by intestine dis- 
cords, he had resolved to attack us suddenly, as persons who 
should then be left exposed to his mercy. For he had placed 
his hopes of victory in the belief that no succour would come to 
us from our allies the Bernese. But the divisions among the 
Swiss being healed, he was deceived in his calculations. Add to 
this that God had called his attention to another quarter. For 
his subjects who inhabit the Alps, though they had recently 
been pillaged and cruelly maltreated for professing the gospel,' 
have not for all that apostatized from the true faith, and when 
he again sent against them some troops of soldiers, by whom 
these unfortunate people were driven to despair, they began to 
defend themselves and repel his tyrannical violence. For they 
had been despoiled of all their fortunes, their houses had been 
burned down, and they themselves with their wives and children 
had taken refuge in the lurking places of the woods. 

Summoning up courage then, they fought a second and even 
a third time so successfully, that the forces of the Duke were all 
cut to pieces. Moreover he is still more hardly pressed in 
another quarter. For the Turkish fleet is just coming up, and 
cannot be driven back from the port of Nice which is situated 
in his dominions, and where he himself very narrowly escaped 
being captured last summer. For certain, his escort was partly 
slain — partly taken — and a good many of them carried off. He 
himself fled in great trepidation and with the greatest disgrace. 
To all this add that he is so desperately poor and so over- 
whelmed with debt, that he can find nowhere a creditor to lend 

' By a brief of 1560, Pope Pius IV. exhorted the Duke of Savoy to take the severest 
measures against heresy. Notwithstanding the generous representations of Margaret 
of France, who secretly professed the new opinions, the magistrates were ordered to 
keep an eye on the Reformed, and to the toleration which the churches of Piedmont 
had for some years enjoyed, a most bitter persecution succeeded. Muston, Israel de» 
Alpes, vol. i. pasaim ; and Giles, Perrin, Leger, etc. 


him anything. Thus God scatters the counsels of the ungodly 
like clouds. We are on our guard against snares however. 
Though indeed there seems nothing to he feared for the moment, 
and we trust that God will continue to be the guardian of an 
innocent city which he has hitherto protected. 

Farewell, most excellent brother. Viret cordially salutes you, 
and I will pray from the heart the Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ to govern you by his Spirit, and support you by his 
power even to the end. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DLXXXVIII. — To THE Admiral de Coligny.' 

An account and solemn disavowal of the conspiracy of Amboise. 

Geneta, l^th, April, 1561. 

Monseigneur : — I have been apprised by my brother,^ who 
is at present among you, that you thought it fitting and desirable 
that I should publish a printed apology to clear myself of the 
blame which has been laid to my charge, with respect to the en- 
terprise of Amboise, as if I had given my consent to it. It is 
true that long before this time and from several quarters, I have 
been required and solicited to do this, and I might easily have 
done it, if I had consulted nothing but my own person ; but I 
have forborne for two reasons: first, many persons would have 

' In a note, by another hand : " He clears himself of participation in the enterprise of 

As a bold attempt of a religious minority maddened by persecution, the conspiracy 
of Amboise was the first act of the political and religious Protestantism which was 
henceforth to be associated with the Protestantism of faith and martyrdom. It had 
for agent La Renaudie, for instruments the Protestant nobility, for secret chief the 
Prince of Conde, for motive the insupportable tyranny of the Guises under a king in 
his minority. Coligny, who felt an aversion for the employment of arms in the cause 
of religion, and who wished to obtain liberty of conscience by conciliation and the 
progress of time, remained a stranger to this enterprise. Calvin, who was accused of 
having been the instigator of it, had made every effort to prevent it, and publicly dis- 
owned it by his letters. See pp. 91, and 106. 

"Antony Calvin, then entrusted with a mission in France. 


esteemed it cruel to insult the calamity of poor people whose 
onlj crime was to have been actuated by inconsiderate zeal ; and 
next, because it might have been thought that I had waited for 
the issue in order to square my sails according to the winds. 
Wherefore I have chosen to suffer patiently to be wrongfully 
accused, rather than to manifest an excessive anxiety about my 
reputation. However I have never dissembled my opinion about 
that transaction, when I was questioned respecting it, as on the 
present occasion I am quite disposed, if you wish, Monseigneur, 
to hear a brief abstract of it, to lay before you the whole truth. 
Seven or eight months before the event, a certain person en- 
trusted with the command of some troops consulted me, whether 
it was not lawful to resist the tyranny by which the children of 
God were then oppressed, and what means might be employed 
for that purpose. As I perceived that opinions of this sort 
were becoming very generally current, after having given him a 
peremptory answer that he should abandon all thoughts of this 
kind, I strove to demonstrate to him that he had no warrant for 
such conduct according to God ; and that even according to the 
world such measures were ill-concerted, presumptuous, and could 
have no successful issue. He was at no loss for an answer, and 
even for one that had a certain plausibility. 

For, said he, nothing was to be attempted against the kino- 
nor against his authority, but all they aimed at was only to ex- 
act a government according to the laws of the country during 
the minority of the king. In the mean time great were the 
lamentations respecting the cruelties that were practised to 
abolish the Reformed religion, that they even expected hourly a 
horrible massacre to exterminate all the poor brethren. I re- 
plied simply to such objections that if a single drop of blood 
were spilled, floods of it would deluge Europe; that thus it were 
better we should perish a hundred times, than expose Chris- 
tianity and the gospel to such opprobrium. I admitted, it is 
true, that if the princes of the blood demanded to be maintained 
in their rights for the common good, and if the Parliament joined 
them in their quarrel, that it would then be lawful for all good 
subjects to lend them armed assistance. The man afterwards 
asked me, if one of the princes of the blood, though not 


the first in rank,* had decided upon taking such a step, we were 
not then warranted to support him. I again gave him an answer 
in the negative with regard to this supposition. In a word I 
adopted so decided a tone in condemning all his proposals that 
I was convinced he had completely abandoned them. And that 
is the reason why I did not breathe a syllable on the subject, 
because it would only have been breeding disturbances to no 

Some time after that, I was very much astonished when Re- 
naudie,^ on his arrival from Paris, told me that he had been en- 
trusted with the direction of such an enterprise, demonstrating 
the goodness of his cause by all the sophisms he could muster 
up. What is more, Monseigneur, I protest that he represented 
you as mixed up with the aflfair. Now, having always known 
him for a man puffed up with vanity and self-conceit, I con- 
stantly repelled all his advances, so that he could never wring 
from me the slightest token of consent ; on the contrary, I 
strove to turn him aside from these follies by many reasons 
which it would be too tedious to enumerate. Seeing himself 
thus frustrated in his expectations, he plotted in secret both to 
seduce those whom he knew to have but little judgment, and 
also to empty the purses of those who would have been but lit- 
tle disposed to march with him. All this was done in small 
coteries and under the seal of an oath not to disclose any thing 
that was going on. Now, there was one who being rather shy 
in opening his purse consulted Master Peter Yiret, and revealed 
to him that La Renaudie, soliciting him for a contribution, had 
adjured him not to say a word about it especially to me, because 
I was unwilling that it should be known that I had given my con- 
sent to the enterprise. Master Peter Viret, without a moment's 

' Allusion to the Prince of Conde. 

* Godfroi du Barry, Seigneur de la Renaudie, chief of the conspiracy. " This 
man," says Beza, " was endowed with a good understanding. For a process that had 
been before several parliaments between him and Du Tillet, the Recorder of the Par- 
liament of Paris, he had been very badly and ignominiously treated, and cast into pri- 
son, from which, having found means very adroitly to malce his escape, he had retired 
to the territory of Berne, in Swiaserland. At a future period he had obtained letters 
authorizing a rehearing of his cause. . . . By these letters he was to be re-esta- 
blished in the possession of his lands and honours. He returned to France for the 
homologation of the said letters, and for his other affairs." — Hiet. Eccl., vol. i., p. 250. 



delay, came to me, as in duty bound, and forthwith I begged 
Monsieur Beza to send for the man. I also called in some 
witnesses, in whose presence I sharply reproved him for having 
made use of my name under false pretexts. He protested and 
swore that he had done no such thing, confessing, of his own 
accord, that if he had spoken as he was represented to have 
done, he would have been the most shameless of liars, since he 
had heard from me the very contrary of what was there re- 
ported. He who had made the report was struck dumb. How- 
ever, these intrigues were still continued. Even when La Re- 
naudie had withdrawn to the Bernese territory where he had 
his habitation, he gained over some who ceased not to attract 
others. Hereupon I endeavoured as well as I could to arrest 
the progress of the evil. When I called before me those who 
had been inveigled into this wild project, every one denied it. 
Nevertheless they marched away, protesting all the time that it 
was to prevent all disturbance. So that seeing every thing go 
wrong, I bitterly lamented, and frequently I was heard to utter 
these words : Alas ! I never thought to live to see the day in 
which we should have lost all credit among those who are re- 
nowned for their fidelity. Is it possible that the church of 
Geneva should be thus despised by her own children ? In one 
word, during all that time I did nothing but groan. The coun- 
cil being apprised that some enterprise was going forward, 
although they were as yet ignorant of its nature, caused to 
be proclaimed by sound of trumpet that no man should stir, 
and issued similar prohibitions throughout all private houses. 
Wherefore none left this city except clandestinely, and in small 
numbers, so that we did not know the mischief that they were 
secretly brewing. In fact, 1 looked upon it altogether as a kind 
of childish game they were playing, and when I wished to cheer 
up my melancholy a little, I used to say that it was a crusade 
of knights errant, or of those of the round table who were in 
verity bewitched. There is one who is at this moment my wit- 
ness before God whom you have known, Monseigneur, and whom 
I have no need to name.' When at first they broke the afi'air 

' The Seigneur de Villeraongis-Bricquemant. He had taken up his residence some 
time after his wife, at Geneva. — Bolsec, Vie de Calvin, C, 15. Condemned to losa 


to him, he only turned it into ridicule, and from the respect he 
entertained for me flatly and laconically refused to have any 
thing to do with it. Afterwards, contrary to his natural cha- 
racter, which was frank and straight forward, he consulted me 
whether he should not undertake a journey to settle some mat- 
ters with his brother who had reduced him to great straits. I 
have no doubt but he was swayed by this motive, but he was 
also actuated by another consideration, namely, that of not be- 
ing held for cowardly, especially as La Renaudie had boasted to 
him that you, Monseigneur, wei-e favourable to the undertaking. 
I told him that if he would take my advice he ought not to go. 
As he afiSrmed and promised that he would avoid aW contact 
with the conspirators, and stand aloof from their projects, I 
made use of these very words : — " I know you ; you will not 
stand aloof from it when once you are on the spot. Remain, 
then, where you are." It is true, he made one exception to 
his promise, and declared that if you commanded him he should 
not dare to refuse. Whereupon I replied : — " Have you pro- 
fited so little in the school of God as to do evil in order to 
please men? On the contrary, the greatest service you could 
render the seigneur, to whom you bear so great an affection, 
would be to prevent him from meddling in this business, and 
tell him frankly that I send him word, in the name of God, that 
he does wrong if he allows himself to be entangled in so disor- 
derly a proceeding." However, I was not very uneasy on that 
score, because I was persuaded that there was no foundation for 
such surmises, and that the brazen-faced bragger who had made 
use of your name was screening himself under false colours. 
Be that as it may, this poor seigneur having quitted me five or 
six times, almost overcome by my arguments, at last told me 
that he could never be at rest till he had undertaken a journey 
to see you ; and, in truth, I believe that such was his intention. 
Nevertheless, I had conceived such apprehensions of what took 
place, that I allowed him to set out with much regret. Nay, 

liis life on the scaffold, after the conspiracy of Amboise, he dipped his hands in the 
blood of his decapitated brethren, and lifting them up towards heaven exclaimed : — 
" Almighty God 1 there is the innocent blood of thy children, and thou wilt avenge 
it." — D'Aubigne, Hiat. Univ., vol. i., p. 94. 


when he came to bid me farewell, in holding out my hand to him, 
I turned my back upon him to show what displeasure I felt in 
my heart. 

If I should be asked why I did not more formally oppose 
the proceedings, I answer, that first of all I thought there was 
no great necessity for doing so, because I despised the enter- 
prise as a childish affair. And, in fact, I always said that if 
the deed displeased me, the person of La Renaudie disgusted 
me still more. I held him for a frivolous person ; I thought 
his project would fall to pieces of itself. Since I suspected no 
danger, I was unwilling to begin skirmishing that I might not 
give rise to great troubles, or kindle a fire that might spread too 
far ; for it was to be presumed that many poor, innocent persons 
would pay for the rash presumption of others. This reason 
kept me back ; I wished to spare the innocent whom I could 
not distinguish from the guilty ; besides, I knew of no one to 
whom I could address myself to set things to rights. Never- 
theless, Monsieur Coignet, who is the king's ambassador to the 
Ligues, knows what I then said to him about the business. So 
far was I from wishing to swim between two currents, or dis- 
simulate from craftiness, and still farther from wishing to gra- 
tify the ardour of those who were rushing, of their own accord, 
to their ruin. For I always declared, without any reserve, that 
if their folly succeeded, I should be the most degraded man in 
the world, as having betrayed the church, thrown obstacles in 
the way of God's work, opposed myself to liberty, etc., etc. ; 
since it is clear that I despised all these imputations, and pre- 
ferred to be held for a poltroon and a coward rather than give 
loose reins to what I condemned. You can judge, Monseig- 
neur, why I was constrained to hold my peace, or, at least, not 
to make any great outcry. And yet it is an undoubted fact 
that at that time people heard me preach several sermons, in 
which I combated their cause with as much vehemence as I was 
master of. This can easily be verified, inasmuch as these ser- 
mons were copied word for word as I delivered them with the 
date of the month and of the day, whence, it is evident, that I 
did not play a double part, nor avail myself of silence to spring 
a mine under ground. 


The result having turned out as every one knows, I was in 
deep distress, as was to be expected, but was by no means sur- 
prised, as if any thing unforeseen had happened, because I had 
constantly predicted the issue, protesting that I feared to be 
recognized in the end for too true a prophet. Had it been in 
my power to adopt better measures, 1 should not have spared 
my pains, and I have often completely defeated other intrigues 
which had spread very widely and without apprising a single 
person in the kingdom of them. However, I cannot prevent 
people from accusing me in that quarter where I cannot be 
heard, but it suffices me to have God for my voucher, and all 
those who have intercourse with me for my witnesses ; so that 
wherever they shall be pleased to give me a hearing, I shall 
open my mouth to show that they do me great wrong who charge 
me with accusations so calumnious. Since that time, when the 
King of Navarre begged me of his own good will and sponta- 
neous movement to send to him M. Beza, he knows that my in- 
clinations pointed at no other object than the public tranquillity 
of France, and the security of the king. But, besides, what 
he knows, I have good witnesses who can prove that by indirect 
means I have endeavoured to cool those whose tempers were 
too much inflamed. If it please certain persons, either from 
malice or any other cause, to impute to me all the evil that is 
done at a great distance from me, what should I do except to 
entreat them to make inquiries and learn how the matter stands ? 
For when the truth shall be brought to light, I shall have where- 
with to confound all evil disposed people who would like to 
blame me. Excesses have been committed in Provence.' Some 
have taken up arms, several persons have been killed, but it 
remains to be proved that I had any secret understanding with 
the authors, if I had ever seen or known them, if we had ever 
communicated together by letters or messages. Now it will be 
found that I have no less condemned all their acts than I had 

• Charles de Monbrun had drawn his sword in Dauphing and the county Venaissin, 
in the defence of religion. The assassination of a Protestant nobleman of Castelane, 
Antony de Mouvans, set the whole of Provence in flames. Paul de Mouvans, the 
brother of Antony, not being able to obtain justice for this murder, which had been 
accomplished under atrocious circumstances, took up arms, and sacked the whole 
country round Aix.— Beza, Hiet. Eccl. vol. i., pp. 374-383. De Thou, Lib. xxv. 


those which had taken place previously. We have also heard 
something of a tumult that had fallen out at Lyons ;^ but, how- 
ever that may be, the origin of all these disturbances came from 
elsewhere, and had it only depended on me, this thoughtless con- 
duct would have been quietly put an end to. However, I have 
never seen the man to whom the fault was attributed, and if 
thoughtless conduct there was, it is not for me who resisted it 
to bear the blame of it. Nay, because at that time the gentle- 
men of Geneva merely heard it whispered that certain persons 
were making a sudden rising, they strictly enjoined all the in- 
habitants of our city not to stir, and notwithstanding this, peo- 
ple have not ceased to say that fifteen hundred horsemen had 
gone from here. But it would have required a very piercing 
sight to count what never appeared. I also allow people to say 
that in this town punishments were inflicted on those who had 
put themselves too prominently forward, though they did so 
rather from simplicity than evil intentions. You have here, 
then, Monseigneur, a brief abstract of all that concerns me ; that 
is to say, the naked truth of the facts by which you will judge 
in your wisdom whether it would be expedient, in order to clear 
my own character, (a thing by no means diflicult,) that 1 should 
aggravate the cause of those whom I wish to protect. For I 
am astonished at seeing worthy people of great piety who have 
been circumvented, because the warning which I gave them had 
been maliciously kept back from them. For the rest, I ought 
to be on my guard against being induced by ambition to justify 
myself in such a manner as to cause them injury or prejudice ; 
nay, I desire, even if all the evil should fall on my own head, 
that the scandal of it should be buried in oblivion. 

Monseigneur, having humbly commended myself to your in- 
dulgent favour, I will pray our heavenly Father to have you in 
his holy keeping, to increase you in all virtues, and govern you 
by his Spirit, even to the end. 

[Fr. Orig., corrected hy Calvin. — Library of Paris. Dupuy, 102.] 

' "In the year 1561, those of Lyons seeing how throughout the greater part of the 
kingdom, and even at the court of the king, people publicly preached, took courage 
to do the same." — Hist. EccL, vol. iii., p. 215. These first assemblies gave rise to 
some sedition 

1561.] JOHN KNOX. 183 

DXC— To John Knox.i 

Explanations on the subject of a letter — Expression of satisfaction at tlie progress of 
the Reformation in Scotland and of sympathy for a domestic affliction. 

Geneva, 23d April, 1561. 

About four months previous to the receipt of your last letter, 
I had received from you another, in which you took great pains 
to exculpate yourself, because I felt oflfended at being consulted 
a second time by your friends and countrymen, about certain 
questions respecting which I had already given them an answer. 
Here is a correct statement of the case. If they had not pro- 
mised that my letter should arrive in safety at its destination, I 
should at least have preserved a copy of it. It was their fault, 
and in consequence of their pledging themselves rather incon- 
siderately, that I took no better precautions. When then, some 
time afterwards, they informed me that the answer about which 
they had asserted 1 had nothing to fear, had completely mis- 
carried, and demanded that I should a second time undertake 
a new labour, I confess I was displeased, and I answered theui 
that I had a suspicion, that what they asked was only with the 
intention of insidiously sounding me. But lest you should be 
surprised that I answered them so harshly, know that I had 
previously learned from a sure source that the counsel which I 
had given them was not to their liking. When I knew then 
that I had by no means given them satisfaction, I not unnaturally 
conjectured that they desired to suppress what displeased them, 
and returned to me to elicit something more in accordance with 
their wishes ; but that you acted with any degree of dissimula- 
tion in the matter, I never said nor even suspected. And even 
at the moment all offence dropped so entirely from my mind that 
there was not the least need of making any apology. But it 

 There exists but a small number of letters exchanged between Knox and Calvin. 
Those of the Scotch Reformer alluded to in Calvin's answer, have been lost and the 
letters of the Reformer of Geneva have not had a better fate. Dr. McOrie, the learned 
historian of Knox, affords no explanation of the loss of this precious correspondence, 
which leaves in history a void so much to be regretted. 

184 JOHN KNOX. [1561. 

grieves me that anything which has fallen from my lips should 
have made such an impression on your mind, as to lead you to 
suppose that you were taxed with craft or bad faith, things 
which I judge the most alien to your character. Banish then 
that apprehension or that inquietude. 

I come now to your letter, which was lately brought to me by 
a pious brother who has come here to pursue his studies. I re- 
joice exceedingly, as you may easily suppose, that the gospel 
has made such rapid and happy progress among you. That 
they should have stirred up violent opposition against you is 
nothing new. But the power of God is the more conspicuously 
displayed in this, that no attacks either of Satan or of the un- 
godly have hitherto prevented you from advancing with tri- 
umphant constancy in the right course, though you could never 
have been equal to the task of resistance, unless He who is 
superior to all the world had held out to you from heaven a 
helping hand. With regard to ceremonies, I trust, even should 
you displease many, that you will moderate your rigour. Of 
course it is your duty to see that the church be purged of all 
defilements which flow from error and superstition. For it be- 
hoves us to strive sedulously that the mysteries of God be not 
polluted by the admixture of ludicrous or disgusting rites. But 
with this exception, you are well aware that certain things 
should be tolerated even if you do not quite approve of them. 
I am deeply afflicted, as you may well believe, that the nobles 
of your nation are split into factions,^ and it is not without 
reason that you are more distressed and tormented, because 
Satan is now plotting in the bosom of your church, than you 
were formerly by the commotions stirred up by the French. 
But God is to be intreated that he may heal this evil also. Here 

' Among the noblemen the most devoted to the cause of the Reformation, were the 
Earls of Arran and Murray who maintained an intercourse with Calvin : " The Earl 
of Arran would have written to you but he was absent. James the brother of the 
queen salutes you. The old man is the only one of those who frequent the court who 
8ets himself against its impiety. And yet even he is fascinated as well as the others, 
inasmuch as he fears to hurl down by violent means that idol." Knoxua Galvino, 
24th October, 1561. In this same letter, Knox announced the re-establishment of the 
mass in the chapel of Mary Stuart at Holyrood, and asked if it was not the duty of 
the Reformed, to abolish this last relic of superstition in Scotland. 


■we are exposed to many dangers. Nothing but our confidence 
in the divine protection exempts us from trepidation, though we 
are not free from fears. 

Farewell, distinguished sir and honoured brother. May the 
Lord always stand by you, govern, protect, and sustain you 
by his power. Your distress for the loss of your wife justly 
commands my deepest sympathy.' Persons of her merit are not 
often to be met with. But as you have well learned from what 
source consolation for your sorrow is to be sought, I doubt not 
but you endure with patience this calamity. You will salute 
very courteously all your pious brethren. My colleagues also 
beg me to present to you their best respects. 
[Calvin's Lat. corresp., Opera, ix. p. 201.] 

DXCI. — To Christopher Goodman.'^ 

Pious admonitions on the occasion of the death of Knox's wife. 

Geneva, 2^d April, 1561. 

Your letter was for many reasons exceedingly agreeable to 
me. The excuses which you make for your long silence were 
quite superfluous, for I am not wont to exact from my friends 
the task of writing to me, and I am thoroughly convinced that 

" Knox had just lost his first wife, Margery Bowes, who had been the companion 
of his exile on the continent. This domestic grief was announced to Calvin by 
Goodman in a letter of the 13th February, 1561. " Our brother Knox has just been 
bereaved of his wife. He himself, feeble in body but robust in mind, never flinches 
from labours. His arrival in Scotland was very seasonable, and his presence there 
just now is not less necessary. I pray that the course of his life may be prolonged 
for years, that his services may profit his country and the church." (Vol. de Geneve, 
113.) Knox remained a widower two years, and married in 1564 Margaret Stewart 
a daughter of Lord Ochiltree. 

' See vol. iii. p. 37. Associated with the vicissitudes of Knox's life on the continent, 
Goodman returned in 1559 to England. He repaired to Scotland the year following, 
and united his efforts with those of the Lords of the Congregation for the establish- 
ment of the Reformation in his country. McCrie, Life of Knox, 1847, notes, p. 408. 
In a letter to Calvin already quoted, he drew a gloomy picture of the state of Scot- 
land under the authority of Mary Stuart : " Impiety, pride, avarice, and luxury, have 
seized upon nearly all, and abound in all places. People find in fine what fruits they 
reap from the female government they have set up and extolled to the skies." Geneve, 
vol. 113. 


186 THE CHURCH OF AIX. [1561. 

I shall not cease to hold a place in your affections. Still I re- 
ceive those excuses with much pleasure, because they are so 
many proofs of the tender solicitude you experience lest I 
should fancy myself neglected by you. Though I am not a 
little grieved to hear that our brother Knox has been bereaved 
of his affectionate wife, I rejoice nevertheless that he has so far 
mastered his affliction as not to suffer it to prevent him from 
strenuously discharging his duty to Christ and the church. It 
is no small relief to him that he has found in you a most faith- 
ful and very fitting fellow-workman ; nor in truth do I see why, 
in so great a penury of labourers, you can possibly abandon your 
present sphere of usefulness. On the contrary, that penury, 
which you so justly deplore, ought to stir up both you and 
others to continued and courageous exertion. And if necessity 
has been styled the sharpest spur to activity, it ought certainly 
to be so in an especial manner in the work of the Lord, in the 
accomplishment of which we know that our efforts will not bo 
unavailing, however much the zeal of the children of the world 
may often be defeated in the attainment of its object. It is my 
advice then, most excellent brother, that you should persevere 
until at last, due provision being made for its ministers, God 
shall more firmly establish the Scottish Church. 

Farewell, most worthy sir and honoured brother. May the 
Lord direct you by the spirit of wisdom and fortitude, and bless 
all your labours. My fellow-pastors salute you. 
\^Calvin\ Lat. corresp., Opera, ix. p. 150.] 

DXCII. — To THE Church of Aix.' 

Duty of Christians to endure persecution without murmuring and without resist- 

Geneva, 1st May, 1561. 

Dearly beloved Seigneurs and Brethren: — Be persuaded 
all of you, that having heard of the extortions and acts of 

'To the brethren of Aix in Provence. The Church of Aix, one of the first of that 
country of Provence, which saw spring up in a single year the churches of Cabrieres 


violence that have been committed against several of you, we 
are touched with such compassion as the fraternal tie which binds 
us together requires. This we protest that you may not suppose 
that, because we are in peace and removed from these blows, we 
therefore are bolder in exhorting you to patience, seeing that 
the evil does not affect ourselves. Now though sorrow is common 
to us with all mankind, yet it is our duty to restrain and bridle 
it, and give such counsels to one another as that He who has all 
authority over us may be obeyed in simplicity. We are well 
aware that it is a plausible and specious opinion that it is lawful 
for us to avenge ourselves on a mutinous populace, because this 
is not resisting the order of justice ; nay, that the laws them- 
selves arm both great and small against robbers. tiBut whatever 
reasons and sophistical excuses may be alleged, still our whole 
duty consists in practising the lesson which the sovereign Master 
has taught us, viz: to possess our souls in patience. And in 
truth it is the best and safest defence we can have to conceal 
ourselves under his shadow when we are assailed by such storms. 
Now it is by this resisting evil by force of arms that we pre- 
vent him from coming to our relief. And it is for that reason 
St. Paul, to moderate our passions, exhorts us to give place to 
anger, relying on the promise which God has given to sustain 
and protect his people after their enemies shall have vented all 
their rage. If what has taken place astonishes you, wait till 
God show you by examples what has always been known ; viz : 
not only that the blood of the faithful will cry out for vengeance, 
but will form a good and fertilizing seed for the multiplication 

and Merindol, and sixty churches organized between the Durance, the Rhone, and the 
sea, had at first for its pastor a nobleman of Dauphine, Claude de la Boissiere. It 
grew up in trials and was confirmed by martyrdom. The Sire de Flassans, consul of 
the city in 1561, having brought the authorities to decide that the Reform should be 
expelled, " that was the cause," says Theodore Beza, " that not only several noble- 
men and other notable persons were expelled with great violence, but also that some 
•were murdered by the fury of the population." Hist. EccL, vol. i. p. 891. It was 
nnder these distressing circumstances that Calvin, addressing the persecuted church, 
recommended to it patience and submission. His voice was listened to. We read in 
the answer of the Church of Aix to Calvin (29th May 1561) : " May God give us 
grace in the mean time to keep in memory and observe your holy admonitions, which 
with great good will we all desire to hear, learn, and submit to, as much as it shall be 
in our power. May the Lord reward you for your labour, and bless you with every 
blessing." (Library of Geneva, vol. 196.) 

188 " BULLINGER. [1561. 

of the church. It is not without a cause that the Scriptures in- 
Bist so much on our correcting our hastiness, when we reflect 
how difficult it is for us to do God the honour of leaving him to 
do his own work in his own manner, and not according to our 
■wishes. For though we have been so often taught that he will 
build up his church in a miraculous manner, we cannot suffer 
him to employ either stone or morter without gnashing our teeth 
if he does not proceed according to our likings. Now the times 
are such that we should labour on the one hand and suffer on 
the other. We call it labouring to bear ourselves manfully and 
overlook all obstacles when the question is to do our duty. For 
it were better a hundred fold to die than to flinch. But that 
does not pre"fent us from suffering with patience, and, guided by 
a spirit of meekness, from defeating by our silent endurance all 
the furious attacks of our enemies. If you accept this counsel, 
we have assured confidence in God, that ere long his hand will 
appear as your safeguard. Whereupon, dearly beloved seigneurs 
and brethren, we entreat him to conduct you in a spirit of prudence 
and virtue, and make you prosper in all good to the end that 
his name be more and more glorified in you. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupuy. Vol. 102.] 


Intrigues of Vergerio in Germany — Portrait of the King of Navarre — Progress of 
the gospel — Ardour of the French Protestants — Popular massacres, 

Geneva, 2ith Ifoy, 1561, 

I do not deny, my dearest sir and honoured brother, that my 
negligence is sometimes the cause why I write to you less fre- 

' The year 1561, signalized by the first edicts of toleration, marks the culminating 
point of the progress of the Reformation in France. From all quarters of the king- 
dom they wrote to Calvin to ask him for new ministers, and Geneva was incapable 
of answering so many multiplied demands. The court itself, by the impulsion of the 
able but fickle Catharine de Medicis, showed itself favourable to the cause of the gos- 
pel, and thought of bringing together the preachers of the two religions in a solemn con- 
ference. There was for a moment even talk of calling Calvin to Paris. But the part 
of conciliator between the two rival churches did not suit the austere Reformer, and 
was in vain attempted by Th. Beza. 

1561.] BULLINGEK. ' 189 

quently than I ought. I may assert, however, with truth, that 
three days never elapse without my feeling a desire to write to 
you about something, if an opportunity presented itself; but dur- 
ing the greater part of a month no one left this for your city 
to whom I could safely entrust a letter. An envoy of the king, 
indeed, in consequence of our old friendship, liberally offered 
me his services. But I can hardly bring myself to trust him, 
unless I were pressed by a more urgent necessity ; for, though 
he is a man of probity, the office which he discharges often 
compels him to forget what is due to Christ. At present, I was 
about to write to you at greater length by Liner, if my health 
had permitted ; but a pain in my side was too violent to admit 
of my making any effort. Vergerio, from mercenary motives, 
has procured an embassy for his nephew, in order to throw every 
thing into confusion. I wish you could impartially see, as I do, 
the effrontery of that busybody. Either there will be no reli- 
gion solidly established in France, or the chief points of our 
doctrine will be maintained intact. I wish we could have as 
much confidence in the final regulation of the business. The 
King of Navarre is now as sluggish and versatile, as he has been 
always a liberal promiser ; he lacks good faith and constancy. 
For though now and then he seems to show some sparks of a 
manly temper, and even flashes out into zeal, yet a moment 
after this flame becomes extinct. And when this fit comes on 
him, from time to time, he is as much to be feared as an advo- 
cate who betrays his cause. Add to that, he is wholly taken 
up with amorous intrigues, and a woman versed in these arts has 
found among the ladies of the court wherewith completely to 
entrap him. This story has got wind, and is the theme of the 
conversation of all the young gallants. Respecting these things 
I have reproved him with as much freedom and sincerity as I 
would have any individual of my own flock. Beza has handled 
him with not more reserve. But in listening patiently to our 
reproaches, and without flying into a passion, he fancies he has 
sufficiently acquitted himself of his duty. The Admiral is the 
only one on whose fidelity we can count. A colleague of ours, 
also, is most active in stirring up his zeal. This colleague I 
sent to him without consulting any body, lest any part of the 

190 BULLINGER. [1561. 

odium of the transaction should fall upon our senate. He 
preaches publicly to crowded audiences at no great distance 
from the palace. All our adversaries keep bawling that such 
audacity is not to be tolerated. The queen entreats him, coax- 
ingly, to desist, but to no purpose. He has determined to brave 
every thing rather than flinch. The queen, moreover, did not 
hesitate to say that all remedies would be useless unless I were 
sent for. It is incredible with what fervent zeal our brethren 
are urging forward greater progress. Pastors are everywhere 
asked for from among us with as much eagerness as the priestly 
functions are made the object of ambition among the Papists. 
Those who are in quest of them besiege my doors, and pay their 
court to me as if I held a levee. They vie with one another in 
pious rivalry, as if the condition of Christ's kingdom were in a 
state of undisturbed tranquillity. On our part, we desire as 
much as it lies in our power to comply with their wishes, but 
our stock of preachers is almost exhausted. We have even 
been obliged to sweep the workshops of the working classes to 
find individuals with some tincture of letters and pious doctrine 
to supply this necessity. Certain outbreaks displease us, which 
it is extremely difficult to moderate. In many towns, as no pri- 
vate building was capable of containing the multitude, they 
have usurped the temples. And though they are everywhere 
preaching all over Guienne, without any public disturbance, 
we should have preferred nevertheless that they had followed a 
line of conduct that we deemed more expedient. Nor are they 
dismayed by those atrocious edicts in which the king commands 
all the edifices in which a meeting may have been held to be 
razed to the ground, and those who have attended it to be 
punished as rebels. But there is greater liberty in Guienne. 
The Parliament of Paris, which has extorted this last edict, 
fulminates against our brethren with the most frightful violence. 
In twenty cities, or thereabouts, the godly have been massacred 
by the infuriated mob. Respecting these butcheries no inves- 
tigation has been instituted, except at Beauvais. At Paris, 
when the populace attacked tumultuously the house of a cour- 
ageous nobleman, and he, by the aid of his friends, repelled 
that furious assault, twelve individuals were killed and forty 

1561.] AMBKOSE BLAURER. 191 

wounded. A decree was immediately passed that he should be 
summoned to compear, and unless he constituted himself pri- 
soner before the expiration of three market days, that he should 
be condemned by default. Now, certainly, if ever, it is the 
moment to implore God that he would be mindful of his unfor- 
tunate flock, and speedily come to their aid by his marvellous 
power to appease these storms. Perhaps ere long we shall hear 
of some change for the better. In the mean time, it behoves 
us to be prepared for enduring even worse extremities. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DXCIV. — To Ambrose Blaurer.' 

News from France — Mission of new ministers — Rage of the Parliaments — Lutheran 


Geneva, May, 1561. 
The state of affairs in France is not so settled as you imagine. 
The King of Navarre is still as pusillanimous as ever. Some- 
thing is elicited from time to time from the queen-mother, but 
whatever she concedes is full of deceit and treachery. In many 
cities the Papists have broken out into tumults, not without 
bloodshed. At Paris, they have been twice vigorously repressed 
and severely handled. The court which is called the Parlia- 
ment not only dissembles, but seems to consider it as an advan- 
tage to kindle animosity against us. With that it is incredible 
how far and wide the kingdom of God is spreading. From all 
quarters demands for ministers are addressed to us, and though 
we have no more to send, yet such is the importunity of those 
who ask, that we must choose certain ministers from the lower 
ranks of the people. The Parliament of Toulouse is more atro- 
cious than that of Paris. Many are still in prison there. 
Some were burned not long ago. Unless the Queen of Na- 
varre, who takes a much more courageous and manly attitude 
than her husband, had made opposition, many churches would 

' A fragment, without date, and of which the beginning is a wanting, May, 1561. 


have been cruelly afflicted. We should have but very slight 
hopes, were it not that God in establishing the kingdom of hia 
son is wont, from perplexed beginnings, to bring more joyful 
issues. When I perceive springing up in the hearts of all the 
godly an invincible alacrity which yields to no terrors, I endure 
with greater confidence. 

In the mean time, the Lutherans do not cease to give way to 
their extravagant follies. I have resolved in future to be a 
silent spectator of their Midianitish battles, because these men 
can in no way be so effectually destroyed as by their own vio- 
lence. Brentz would have consulted better for his own reputa- 
tion by holding his peace. Now he has broken out with such 
a degree of stolidity and folly that he has brought on himself 
more disgrace than his enemies could have wished. Certainly 
it is impossible that this last act will not render his interment 

\_Lat. Copy. — Library of Zurich, Hottinguer. — F. 43, p. 435.] 

DXCV. — To THE Admiral de Coligny.' 

Pious exhortations — Renewed recommendation of Geneva. 

Geneva, May, 1561. 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — We have to praise God for having prospered 
the journey of the man you demanded.^ I doubt not but you 
have found him such as you desired, and have discovered by ex- 
perience that he seeks faithfully to discharge his duty. As I 
know not in what nor for how long a time you intend to employ 
him, I shall, on that point, wait for a declaration of your good 
pleasure. In the meantime, Monseigneur, I pray you not to 
be weary in the pursuit of so good and holy a work, to which we 
ought to devote a hundred lives if we had them. I partly com- 
prehend the difficulties and obstacles which might arrest you, 

' Without date. The end is wanting, May 1561. 

' The minister, John Raymond Merlin, from Romans in Dauphin^, surnamed M. de 
Monroy. " Master Jehan Merlin was sent to the house of the Admiral at court, who 
had written to have a person in such a place." — Registres de la Compagnie, ann., ]56]. 


or cause you to turn bridle. You feel, by experience, far more 
of them, but you know, Monseigneur, that in placing your stay 
upon Him, who has set you to work, you shall never be frustrated 
in your expectations. It is true, that to fortify yourself to serve 
him constantly, you must look higher than the world, as the 
Apostle also exhorts us to cast our anchor in heaven. But 
whatever happens, God will always cause to prosper the service 
which we shall offer him with unconstrained courage. I have a 
shrewd notion that the devil is brewing some mischief under 
ground, in order to produce fresh disorders. But on the other 
hand, I trust, that God will do his own work in some extraor- 
dinary fashion. Not that I approve of the ardour of certain 
persons who are in too great a haste. But since I cannot mo- 
derate their impetuosity, I shut my eyes, not knowing what 
God intends to do ; unless it be to cast down all human policy, in 
casting down by foolishness the sly devices which people antici- 
pate on the part of the crafty. In a word, I trust that though 
the king will go to seek the cardinal,' God will draw near to 
him and to his people, in such a manner that these shall never 
be able to remove far from him. In the mean time, it is our 
duty to march in the path which he points out to us. 

I must, also, drop one word in your private ear, Monseigneur, 
touching the affair^ about which I sent to you a written memo- 
rial. If you see that the matter is followed up, I entreat you 
to take care that we be not forgotten in it. I believe this town 
recommends itself to your attention upon higher grounds. But 
what is certain is, that you cannot procure the good of this town 
without serving at the same time the interests of the king. For 
though it seems to be of small importance, yet what is small is 
not always to be despised. . . . 

[Fr. Orig. — Library of Paris, Dupuy. Vol. 102.] 

' Toung King Charles and the court were about to go to Kheims for the fStes of the 
coronation which was performed by the Cardinal Lorraine, on the 13th June, 1561. 

" See p. 166. The point in question was to have Geneva included in the renewal 
of the alliance between the King of France and the Swiss Cantons. 


194 THE KING OF NAVARRE. [1561. 

DXCVI. — To THE King of Navarre.' 

Keen censure of the foibles of this monarch. 

Geneta, May, 1561. 

Sire : — Though by the letter -which you were pleased to write 
to me lately, you have given me permission and boldness to con- 
tinue to give such exhortations as necessity might call for, ne- 
vertheless I could very much have wished not to enter on a 
subject which it is possible will not at first sight be very agree- 
able to you. But I pray you, sire, to reflect on what St. Paul 
says, that we are sometimes constrained to make sad those 
whom we desire to make glad, and even if they are grieved for 
a short time, it is for the purpose of causing them a hundred 
times more joy than if we had left them in repose, or lulled 
them into a mortal sleep. And in fact, sire, in your wisdom 
you would judge that I should be both a traitor and disloyal to 
you, if in speaking in the name of God, who commands not to 
spare kings, I did not frankly remonstrate with you about what 
cannot and should not be dissembled. I know what modesty 
and discretion we should make use of, in order not to advance 
rashly and at random things of which we have not a proper 
knowledge. But at the same time the facts of which I have to 
give you notice are but too much divulged, and a great deal more 
than I could have wished. St. Ambrose complains with great 
justice in some passages of his writings that the world suffers 

' Letter without any date, written probably at the same period as that one addressed 
to Bullinger, (25 May, 1561,) in which we remark this severe judgment pronounced 
on the King of Navarre : — '• The King of Navarre is now as sluggish and versatile 
as he has been always a liberal promiser ; he lacks good faith and constancy. For 
though now and then he seems to show some sparks of a manly temper, and even 
flashes out into zeal, yet a moment after this flame becomes extinct. Add to this, 
that he is wholly taken up with amorous intrigues, and a woman versed in these arts 
has found among the ladies of the court wherewith completely to entrap him." In- 
formed by the ministers of Paris of the foibles of this prince, Calvin laid before him 
his duties with a pious fi-eedom. " Respecting these things, I have reproved him with 
as much freedom and sincerity as I would have reproved any individual of my own 
flock. Beza has handled him with not more reserve ; but in listening patiently to our 
reproaches, and without flying into a passion, he fancies he has suflBciently acquitted 
himself of his duty," etc. 

1561.] THE KING OF NAVARRE. . 195 

little children to hear, see, and speak ; and it would wish to ren- 
der the servants of God deaf, blind, and dumb, though a spe- 
cial charge has been given to them to watch, spy, question, and 
cry aloud, as it were, by sound of trumpet. I hope, sire, and 
feel persuaded that you will not be of the number of those, but 
that you will believe that I have not been for slight reasons 
moved to declare to you the deep distress I feel on learning 
that you have been gained, by very bad means, to a great many 
things which you ought to have opposed strongly and steadfastly. 
I only write to you, sire, what is the common talk, and with 
which the ears of too many have been filled. What is whispered 
about is that some foolish amours prevent you from doing your 
duty, or cool in part your ardour in the discharge of it, and 
that the devil has agents that seek neither your good nor ho- 
nour, who by such allurements strive to draw you over to their 
party, or to coax you that they may not be disturbed in their 
plots and intrigues. If you are angry, sire, that jhey should 
entertain such an opinion of you, I pray you to reflect on the 
number of young girls that give occasion for it. I entreat you 
again and again, sire, to remark well what St. Peter says, that 
it is enough for the time past to have followed foolish lusts, 
pleasures, dissoluteness of unbelievers ; for when you shall be 
no longer stained with these things, sire, not only will all be 
overlooked by God and his angels, but also forgotten by the 
world. But, on the contrary, God permits when we return to 
iniquity that what was blotted out should be brought to remem- 
brance, and specially he places it to our account. I entreat you, 
then, sire, in the name of God, to rouse yourself up in good 
earnest. Know that the greatest virtue you can possess is to 
war against your afi'ections, to retrench worldly pleasures, sub- 
due the lusts which induce you to offend God, and trample under 
your feet the vanities that very soon lead us astray without our 
being aware of it. For though in the elevated position and 
royal rank in which you are placed it is difficult to curb one's 
self, yet it is most certain that the license which the great ones 
of the earth allow themselves is by so much the less excusable, 
as God has laid them under greater obligations. And the say- 
ing of Jesus Christ will needs be made good, that an account 

196 THE KING OF NAVARRE. [1561, 

■will be asked of every one according as he has received. Nay, 
I beseech you, sire, now to apply it for your own instruction, 
for among the other distinguished favours which have been con- 
ferred on you in times past, you are anew established in a posi- 
tion which ought to incite you more than ever to keep yourself 
carefully on your guard. For not only you have to support 
the charge of the public weal, but God has ordained you as a 
father to relieve all his poor followers, and send them your 
assistance, so that they may be able with perfect freedom to 
serve and honour him in purity ; nay, what is more, has appointed 
you to be the steward of his truth, of pure and true religion, 
of the sovereign right which belongs to him, to be obeyed by 
all, and that all should regulate their conduct according to his 
will. This is a burden so weighty that there is not a creature 
who would not find much dijBficulty in bearing it, and the devil 
lays so many traps that one must be aided by singular grace 
from God, in order not to sink under it. So much the more it 
behoves you, sire, to put forth all your energy, to divest your- 
self of all inward hindrances, in order to give yourself up more 
freely to the discharge of this noble and holy commission, so as 
not only to be approved of by good men, but found irreprehen- 
sible before the heavenly Judge, that you may receive the crown 
of glory and immortality which is more precious than all the 
empires of this earth. In the mean time, sire, though I doubt 
not but you see the snares that are laid, and the nets that are 
stretched out to surprise and circumvent you, and the intrigues 
that are hatching, all tending to bring back that disorderly 
state of things from which we fancy we have escaped, neverthe- 
less my duty obliges me to entreat you to be vigilant and atten- 
tive in order to defeat them. 

Sire, having humbly commended myself to your indulgent 
favour, I pray our Lord to have you in his keeping, to direct 
you in the spirit of wisdom, uprightness, and constancy, and 
increase you in all prosperity to the end that you may glorify 
his name. 

\Fr. Orig. — Library of Parss, Dupuy. Vol. 102.] 

1561.] THE CHURCH OF NIMES. 197 

DXCVIL — To THE Church of Nimes. ^ 

Ecclesiastical troubles, and counsels how to remedy them. 

Geneva, 1st June, 1561. 

The love of God, the Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, be always upon you by the communication of the Holy 

Dearly beloved seigneurs and brethren, we have seen your 
letters, and heard the report which has been sent us by you, as 
well as the contents of the documents which M. Mutonis had 
brought for his justification.^ On the other hand, having re- 
ceived some accounts of a purport somewhat different, and having 
duly considered all, we see to our great regret that your church is 
split into factions, and that every one holds out too stiffly for 
his own party. Now, you know, that the foundation of a church 
is unity, and also that it is kept up only by brotherly love and 
concord. Thus one can look for nothing but dispersion and 

' To our very dear seigneurs and brethren, the overseers and deacons of the Church 
of Njmes. Glorious metropolis of the Reformed churches of the south, the church 
of Nimes came into existence in persecution and was inaugurated by martyrs. The 
first fires that were kindled against the Protestants had their origin in this city in 
1537. " At Nimes, no obscure city of Languedoc, a new act of cruelty of the wicked 
has burst out on the poor dispersed brethren that have taken up their residence there. 
Two were burned, many thrown into prison, who are in danger of their lives," Ac. — 
(Vol. i., p. 58.) The blood of the new confessors, Maurice Secenat and Peter de la 
Vau, fertilized some years later (1551-1555) the field on which was destined to rise 
one of the most powerful churches of the Reform. It had for first pastor Guillaume 
Mauget, an eloquent preacher and an intrepid missionary, who wrote to Calvin on 
the 12th May, 1561 : — ''It is very true, that they make many and grievous assaults 
upon us, especially in this town of Nimes. For not only the magistrates attack us, 
and the people threaten us, but also (which is the greatest distress we experience) our 
own bowels; that is, a part of our consistory rises up against us, contrary to all order 
and discipline." — {Library of Geneva, vol. 197 a.) Informed of the disturbances 
which the election of a second minister had produced in this church, Calvin addressed 
to the consistory the most prudent counsels. See {Ibidem) two letters of the Church 
of Nimes to Calvin, (May and August,) as well as the documents contained in the 
portfolio 1, and entitled : Proceedings of the Conference held at Nimes, the 20(A March, 
1561, on the affair between Ilutonia and Manget. 

" Jean Mutonis, almoner of Madame de Crussol, minister of Montagnac, near Uzes, 
called to Nimes by the party opposed to the minister Mauget. This election was 

198 THE CHURCH OF NIMES. [1561. 

ruin when a door is opened for strife and contentions. And, 
in fact, God will always make good what has been declared by 
the mouth of St. Paul, that those who bite and devour one an- 
other will in the end be consumed of one another. We then 
entreat you, for God's sake, to beware of the crafty devices 
of Satan, and not to yield to bitterness of spirit, in order to 
support any quarrel whatsoever, unless it be that which ought 
to inflame and consume your hearts, when you are called to do 
battle with a common accord against the enemies of the truth 
of God. We can easily perceive that you have been too much 
taken up with the question of persons which has impaired the 
rectitude of your judgments, as our Lord well reminds us ; and 
for that reason, you were obliged to institute lawsuits which 
have caused great scandal, the rather that many persons might 
suppose the church was troubled by some envy or emulation 
among its ministers. For we are inclined to suspect evil much 
more than good. Now, as we "have not found that it would be 
to the advantage of our church to rake up the quarrels which 
ought to be set at rest by the decisions which have been adopted 
respecting them, we were unwilling to interfere for fear of 
usurping the rights of others. Even if there should be any 
defect in point of form in these decisions, we conceive it to be 
expedient to keep by the resolutions that have been adopted. 
Thus we pray and exhort you in the name of God not only to 
hush up and overlook the recollection of these differences which 
have but too much agitated you, but also to obliterate them en- 
tirely from your minds, that there may be nothing to prevent 
you from holding out the hand of fellowship to one another, and 
acting in concert in the discharge of your duty. 'The bearer 
has made every effort to effect his object in having the said 
Mutonis accorded to you for your pastor, and has not failed to 
insist and make replies to the best of his ability. But our 
remonstrances were so just that finally he was obliged to ac- 
quiesce in them, for the brethren of Uzes had anticipated you, 
and having obtained him with his own consent, granted with 
only one exception, that their choice should meet with our 
approbation, and because we had given them an answer by an 
express messenger that we should by no means think of oppos- 

1561.] THE CHURCH OF NIMES. 199 

ing an election which they had made, and that our desire was 
that he should labour faithfully for their edification, we were 
no longer at liberty to retract our words. For if we do not 
come near to the virtues of St. Paul, at least, we should strive 
to follow them at an humble distance, and put in practice the 
lesson he has given us, that no one may find in our conversation 
at once yea and nay, to make us be judged double-minded and 
inconstant. We do not see, then, how the said Mutonis can 
disengage himself from such an obligation. At any rate, it 
would have been a great shame for us to vary in our opinion, 
since we had already sent off the letters, and this apology we 
make, no doubt, you will accept. Now, for the present, we see 
nothing better for you than to listen peaceably to the instruc- 
tions of our brother, M. Mauget, and seeing his labours profit 
among you, to take courage to further the work of your salva- 
tion. We should not have failed to send you our brother, M. 
d'Anduze,' were it not that some of our society are absent and 
another is ill ; but we trust that in the course of three months 
we shall have a better opportunity, and then we shall not fail 
to prove to you the desire we have of coming to your aid. If 
God grants us this favour that he shall go to visit you when he 
is on the spot, and shall have remained there some time, he will 
deliberate with you about every thing that may be good and pro- 
per for preserving the state of your church, pacifying all dissen- 
sions, and establishing such order for the future as that you 
shall not relapse into similar troubles. In the mean time, we 
reiterate our entreaties to you to come to an amicable agree- 
ment with your pastor, for you know we are incapable of being 
disciples of Jesus Christ till we have a spirit of meekness. We 
hope that on his side he will conduct himself towards you with 
so much kindly feeling that you shall have no reason to be dis- 
satisfied with him. 

Whereupon, beloved seigneurs and brethren, having com- 
mended ourselves to you and to your fervent prayers, we sup- 

' " The Seigneurs d'Anduze," says Beza, " made such a profession of the gospel that 
one of them, having retired to Geneva, there exercised the ministry for a long time, 
and died afterwards a minister at Nimes, in very great renown." — Hist. Eccl., vol. i., 
p. 214. See a letter of M. d'Anduze (Pierre d'Airebondouze) to the society of Ge- 
neva, 7 April, 1571. — {Geneva, vol. 197 a.) 

200 JAMES STUART. [1561. 

plicate our God and Father to have you in his keeping, to 
govern you by the spirit of wisdom and integrity, to sustain 
you by his power, and increase you in all good. 

[Fr. Copy. — lAhrary of Paris, Dupuy. Vol. 102.] 

DXCVIII.— To James Stuart.^ 

He engages him to persevere in his pious efforts for the advancement of the reign of 

Jesus Christ in Scotland. 

Geneva, llth'July, 1561. 

Monsieur: — Though I do not know you personally, yet the 
zeal and constancy you have displayed in advancing the reign 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and re-establishing the true service 
of God and religion, encourage me not only to write to you but 
also oblige me to confirm you in this holy purpose. Not that I 
imagine you have any need of being impelled to the work by 
others, as if it were to be feared that your courage should become 
weakened or damped ; but because I well know that you cannot 
labour so strenuously as you do to maintain the truth of God 
without having to endure many assaults. I doubt not, when on 
my side I shall endeavour to aid you by some exhortations, but 
you will take it in good part ; as in fact those whom God has 
most fortified feel but so much the mofe the residue of weak- 

' The superscription : To the nohleman, James Stuart, elder brother of the Queen 
of Scotland. 

James Stuart, natural son of James V., and Prior of St. Andrews, played an im- 
portant part in the history of Scotland during the reign of Mary Stuart. A declared 
partisan of the Reform, he was named a deputy to Mary Stuart to invite her to 
return to her kingdom after the death of Francis II. her husband. He protected her 
from the excesses of the Reformed party, was created successively Earl of Mar, Earl 
of Murray, and became regent in 1567. From that time, opposed to the queen, he con- 
stantly courted the favour and support of Queen Elizabeth. "Victorious over the royal 
army at Langside, (1568,) he publicly accused Mary of the murder of Darnley her 
second husband, and perished himself by the hand of an assassin of the house of 
Hamilton. Robertson, the historian, while he accuses him of ingratitude towards Mary 
Stuart and of servility towards Elizabeth, pays homage to his military talents and 
the vigour of his administration. Long after his death popular gratitude accorded 
him the title of the Good Regent. 

1561.] JAMES STUART. 201 

ness that is still in themselves, and desire to be so confirmed as 
never to faint. You have indeed given proofs of a rare virtue 
in shutting your eyes on all the objects of this world which 
might retard your eiforts, or prevent you from giving yourself 
entirely up to combat for the cause of the gospel ; but be per- 
suaded that the devil will never cease to return to the charge, 
and he has an infinite number of agents whose rage is sufiiciently 
inflamed to overturn the pure doctrine of salvation if it were 
in their power. 

You must be prepared then to encounter many troubles, and 
should fortify yourself with strength from on high in order to re- 
sist them. When you shall have long pondered in your mind 
beforehand, that you ought never to be weary of this great work, 
nothing will make you astonished. The more furiously the 
crafty and reprobate fight against God, we ought to be the more 
animated to combat under the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ 
for our salvation, being certain of the victory. St. Paul had ac- 
complished much, when nevertheless he protests he had not yet 
attained to the end, but was striving to reach it. Seeing him- 
self drawing near to his death, he boasts that he has not com- 
bated in vain, since the crown of righteousness is prepared for 
him. I doubt not but God, who has begun so well to conduct 
you, will continue to the end, that along with courage he will 
also bestow on you wisdom to resist and defeat all the evil wiles 
and machinations of the enemy. And you have much need of 
it, for certain it is that the enemy is devising nothing but dis- 
loyalty and treachery. 

You will also h.ave to keep an eye on those who half counter- 
feit to be Christians, and yet mix up their errors and blasphemies 
with the truth, that you may repel them from creeping into the 
church, or even.cast them out of it altogether, lest it should be 
infected by their poison, for they are plagues of the worst and 
most deadly kind. Wherefore we must carefully practise the 
exhortation of the Apostle, not to let the bitterness of evil weeds 
spring up, that the good seed be not corrupted by them ; and as 
it is our duty always to be going forward in the work of God, it 
will be proper for you at least to keep a strong hand, that what 
has been well begun fall not into decay. 


Whereupon, sir, having humbly commended myself to your 
indulgent favour, I will entreat our heavenly Father to have 
you in his holy keeping, to guide you by his Spirit, to do what 
shall be agreeable to him, and strengthen you with invincible 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupuy. Vol. 102.] 

DXCIX. — To THE Admiral de Coligny.' 

He pays homage to the zeal of the Admiral and the constancy of the French Pro- 

• Geneva, llth July, 1561. 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — Though it were to be desired that the king- 
dom of God should make greater advances in your country, and 
that the gospel had a more peaceable course, nevertheless you 
must not think it strange if He, who conducts everything by his 
admirable counsel, wishes to try the patience of his people in 
prolonging the term of their struggle, provided only all those 
who hold for the good cause, break through all restraints in 
order to employ themselves perseveringly and unreservedly as 
they ought in building up the temple of God. And in one word 
you will experience that he watches more than we comprehend, 
to cause his work to prosper. Let us only beware of becoming 
weary, and though the fruit of our labours be hidden for the 
present, it will appear in due time. The efforts also of the 
enemies of the truth ought to be an occasion for your striving 
still more, in order that their audacity and presumption may be 

' While under the influence of the Chancellor L'Hopital, the government showed 
itself less hostile to the Reformed party, and while the triumvirate was formed for 
the defence of Catholicism and the extermination of heresy, the Admiral de Coligny, 
redoubling his energy, demanded free preaching of the Reform in France. " The 
admiral is the only one on whose fidelity wo can count. A colleague of ours also is most 
active in stirring up his zeal. . . He preaches publicly to crowded audiences at no 
great distance from the palace. All our adversaries keep bawling that such audacity 
is not to be tolerated. The queen coaxingly entreats him to desist, but to no purpose. 
He has determined to brave everything rather than to flinch. . . It is incredible with 
what fervent zeal our brethren are urging forv^ard greater progress." Calvin to Bul- 
linger, 24th May, 1561. 


checked and defeated by the constancy which God shall have 
bestowed on you. It is much to be perfectly assured that what- 
ever trouble they give you, the issue will be fortunate for you 
and turn to their confusion. God also holds out before your 
eyes a fine mirror for your encouragement, jvhen amid fears and 
threats the poor brethren of France never tire in holding on 
their course. The state of things there is in great confusion, 
but we trust that God will confound the most wily, and that they 
will find themselves caught in their own nets. He who ought 
to take the lead is so indifi"erent that it is impossible to be more 

The enemies are more furious than ever to ruin all, if 
God did not bridle their rage. Even that mad fool who some- 
times made war on you has lately taken about three hundred of 
your men prisoners in the neighbourhood of Chinon. But he 
received strict orders to set them all at liberty and repair im- 
mediately to court, with sharp threats if he should show himself 
restive.^ At least this is a slight relief which God has afforded 
his children. And so, Monseigneur, being animated by such 
examples, you should not connect yourself with those who acquit 
themselves badly of their duty, but you ought, rather to strive 
to make them ashamed and correct their cowardice, and what- 
ever resistance Satan oppose to you, you should surmount 
it all by the power of Him who has promised that our faith will 
be victorious over the world. Reflect also that you have not 
only to resist open enemies, but also those of your own house 
who introduce themselves under false pretexts. And forasmuch 
as in these beginnings many fickle and ungovernable characters 
will permit themselves too much licence, it will be the more 
necessary for you to exercise a strict police. I have known a 
young soldier of your nation, who has not, I believe, his match 

" The King of Navarre, seduced by the artful promises of the Guises, and deaf to 
the energetic representations of his wife, showed himself every day less zealous for 
the cause of the Reformation. 

' The seigneur thus designated appears to be Jacques d'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours, 
the declared enemy of the Admiral de Coligny. A recent edict of the king (April 
1561) had enjoined the setting at liberty of all persons imprisoned for the sake of re- 
ligion. The Parliament of Paris, inexorable in its rigour against the Protestants, re- 
fused to register the edict. 


for overweening self-conceit. I have no doubt but lie will be 
intermeddling to embroil matters as much as he can. If such 
people were not kept in check, there would result very soon a 
confusion that it would be impossible to remedy. But I hope 
that, in everything ^nd everywhere, God will provide you with 
prudence and courage to bring to a successful conclusion what 
he has given you the grace to commence. 

Monseigneur, having humbly commended myself to your in- 
dulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to increase 
in you more and more the gifts of his Spirit, that thereby his 
name may be glorified, to prosper you in all your actions, and 
to keep you under his protection. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DC. — To THE Pastors of Zurich. 

A collection in favour of the Evangelical Churches of Piedmont. 

Geneva, lAth July, 1661. 

These brethren have come from the valley of Angrogne, and 
the places in its neighbourhood, to ask for some relief in their 
necessities. In their distress we have not reproached them for 
having injudiciously taken up arms, although we had certainly 
dissuaded them from having recourse to such a measure. They 
are reduced to such utter destitution that their sad condition 
might well move to compassion all those who have any feelings 
of humanity. We have not been able to make up a consider- 
able sum for them, for the third part of the foreigners who so- 
journ here have at present taken their flight from the city. 
None but the poorer classes have been left. We have, never- 
theless, contracted a debt of four thousand crowns, and, at the 
present moment, we have acted well, if not very wisely. He 
who should have discharged this obligation is deaf. Thus (what 
will not redound greatly to the honour of the King of Navarre) 
we have paid down what in all justice he ought to have placed 
to his own account. They will now proceed as they have been 

1561.] THE CHURCH OF SAUVE. 205 

directed to you. It would have been foolish to commend them 
to Beza. A letter to you it was not in my power to refuse them. 
If you should judge it proper, since it is their wish to pass 
through Schaffhausen, you will direct and assist them with your 
kindness and authority. 

Farewell, most excellent sirs and most honoured brethren. 
May the Lord always govern, protect, and bless you. 

Yours, John Calvin 

In the name and by the order of the brethren. 
[Lat. Copy.— Arch, of Zurich, Gest. VI., 106, p. 839.] 

DCI. — To THE Church of Sauve.' 

Euergetic censure of the acts of vandalism committed by a minister of this church. 

Geneva, July, 1561. 

Dearly beloved Seigneurs and Brethren : — If every one 
practised rightly the rule which the Holy Spirit has given us by 
the mouth of St. Paul, to walk circumspectly and with all modesty, 
so as not to give to others any handle for offence, you would 
not be in your present distress, nor should we be at a loss how 
to counsel and exhort you to remedy a scandal which has already 
taken place, and provide that such acts should not occur for the 
future. We speak of the foolish deed which was performed at 
Sauve in burning idols and pulling down a cross. We are very 
much surprised at such temerity in a man whose duty it was to 
moderate and restrain others. For, as we have heard, he not 

' On the back of the letter in Calvin's hand : " Against the temerity of the preacher 
of Sauve." A letter without date, but written in the month of July, 1561, as is indi- 
cated by the answers of the minister of the Church of Sauve, of the 31st August, 1561. 
Under the administration of the precarious toleration, inaugurated by the accession 
of Charles IX., excesses to be regretted were committed by the Protestants of Lan- 
guedoc and Dauphiny. Several Catholic churches were sacked. The Reformed po- 
pulation of Sauve, a small town of the Cevennes, committed acts of sacrilegious 
violence which Calvin energetically blamed. Deposed by the provincial synod of 
Sommieres, maintained by the consistory of Sauve, the minister Sartas, the princi- 
pal author of these excesses, humbled himself before the society of Geneva, and ob- 
tained from them a pardon, as he assured them that he had done nothing but out 
of a worthy zeal to prevent many scandals." — Library of Geneva, vol. 197 a. 

206 THE CHURCH OF SAUVE. [1561. 

only gave his consent to the deed (which was already too bad a 
thing), but he stirred up the people, being the most mutinous of 
them all. Now, if he had forgotten himself, being surprised by 
some thoughtless ardour, the least thing he could do was to ac- 
knowledge his fault and profess himself sorry for it, especially 
as he had been warned and exhorted. But to maintain that he 
acted so with a good conscience is an instance of intolerable 
obstinacy. If he will have us believe such a thing, let him 
prove from the word of God what grounds he had for this pro- 
ceeding. But we know quite the contrary. God has never 
given commandment, except to each one in his own house, and 
in public to those he arms with authority, to cast down idols. 
Now it is not without cause that it was expressly said to the 
people of Israel, when thou shall have come into the land which 
thy (xodgiveth thee, and shalt possess it, then, etc. Thus let this 
firebrand show us by what title he is lord of the land where he 
has issued his order for burning. Now, inasmuch as God has 
not authorized him to do this, his good conscience, as he calls 
it, is nothing else than the good intention of the Papists. In 
expressing ourselves thus, we are not become the advocates of 
idols, and would to God they were all banished from the world, 
even should it cost us our lives. But since obedience is better 
than sacrifice, we have to consider what is lawful, and restrain 
ourselves within bounds. For it is to act like a horse that has 
broke loose from the reins to attempt more than what our voca- 
tion warrants. We verily believe that Daniel and his compa- 
nions, and Ezekiel, and many others, were quite as zealous as 
this poor man who boasts himself in the extravagance of his 
self-conceit. One thing is certain, as long as they were at Ba- 
bylon they contented themselves with showing their contempt 
of idol worship, without usurping any power which did not 
belong to them. It were high time that this poor man, having 
so greatly forgotten himself, should hold down his head. But 
it is astonishing that he should be so stupid as not to think 
of the handle which he has given to the crafty to ruin every 
thing. But it is the height of pride and stubbornness obstinately 
to persist in vindicating himself, and not to yield to good coun- 
sel. Now, since such is the case, dear brethren, we entreat you. 

1561.] THE KING OF NAVARRE. 207 

having compassion on the poor churches, in order not to expose 
them to massacre with your eyes open, that you would disavow 
this act, and declare openly to the people that have been led 
astray, that you have separated yourselves from him who was 
the principal instigator of it, and that for his rebellious conduct 
you cut him off from your society. Had he submitted and 
deigned to listen to reason, he might have been treated with 
more indulgence. But since he is stiff-necked, you cannot spare 
him without a violation and infraction of all order. It is pos- 
sible, however, that God may tame his stubbornness, as we hum- 
bly supplicate him to do, as also to have you in his keeping, to 
fortify and govern you by his Spirit, while we heartily commend 
ourselves to you and to your fervent prayers. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCII. — To THE King of Navarre.' 

Recommendation of Theodore Beza. 

Geneva, 14<A August, 1561. 

Sire : — "We have received the letters which your majesty has 
been pleased to write to us. We cannot sufficiently thank you 
for the kind affection which you deign to entertain towards us, 
and we esteem ourselves very happy to have a prince like your 
majesty favourably disposed toAvards us. As to the excellent 

' Docile to the counsels of the Chancellor L'H6pital, the court had just decided on 
the opening of a solemn conference between the two religions at Poissy. The Pro- 
testant princes, zealous to draw thither the most distinguished ministers, wrote to the 
seigneurs of Geneva to ask them for Calvin or Theodore Beza. The seigneury re- 
fused the former, and consented to grant the second. Informed of these favourable 
dispositions, the King of Navarre wrote to the magistrates of Geneva to thank them, 
and hurry the departure of Theodore Beza. "We pray you again and again as affec- 
tionately as we can, to be pleased to grant him permission, and send him off as soon 
as it will be possible, . . . being assured that all due honour, welcome, and good 
treatment will be shown him, such as his probity, erudition, and talents deserve. In 
this you will, moreover, do the king, my seigneur, the queen, his mother, as well as 
myself particularly, a very sensible pleasure. — Spon, Geneve, vol. ii., p., 95; 
note de Gautier. Beza had already quitted Geneva (14 August, 1661,) when they 
there received the king's letter, which Calvin was charged to answer in the name of 
the seigneury. 

208 PETER MARTYR. [1561. 

Theodore Beza, our good pastor and minister, we are forced to 
confess, sire, that it has been to our great regret that he undertook 
this journey ; not that we were not both ready and willing, sire, 
to employ for your service our slender means as far as they can 
extend, but we know what loss both the church and the school 
will suifer by his absence.' But if it please God that his labour 
produce such fruits, as we are bound to hope, we know very well 
that it becomes us to forget all private considerations. Now 
we owe much more than that to Jesus Christ, from whom we de- 
rive every thing, and to his church. So that, in acquitting our- 
selves of a part of our duty, we have been extremely glad at 
rendering a service to your majesty. Now we shall always 
esteem it a great advantage for us to have the means of doing 
any thing which will be agreeable to you, and we pray you, 
sire, to deign to take into your custody a part of our treasures 
in the person of him whom we have no need to recommend to 

Sire, having very humbly commended ourselves to your in- 
dulgent favour, we will supplicate our heavenly Father to pre- 
serve your majesty in his present state, to have you under his 
protection, and increase you in all good. 

Your very humble and affectionate servants. 

The Syndics and Council of Geneva. 

[Lat. Orig., in Calvin's hand. — Arch, of Geneva, 1561.] 

DCIII.— To Peter Martyr.^ 

He exhorts him to repair to the religious conferences which are ahout to be held in 


Geneva, llth August, 1561. 
The person wno lately accompanied our friend Beza to your 
neighbourhood is again returning to you. He is the bearer of 

' Theodore Beza was at the same time Rector and Professor of the new Academy 
of Geneva. 

'At the invitation which was addressed to him by Catherine de Medicis, desirous to 
hear one of her most eloquent countrymen in the religious conferences, which they 

1561.] PETER MARTYR. 209 

a letter from the king of Navarre to your senate, in which he 
earnestly begs and entreats that you should be speedily sent 
off, and in his own name he pledges that this will be very ac- 
ceptable to the king and his mother. Beza has set out without 
having obtained a safe-conduct, and from the village to which I 
had retired he was escorted by my brother to the nearest relay 
of the couriers, that he might pass through less noticed by 
means of the post-horses. With regard to yourself, I make no 
doubt but that you have fully resolved not to play the loiterer, 
on so important an occasion. But it will be your duty also to 
see that others do not occasion any delay. 

I see how many things are to be regretted, and I wrote to 
you already, how dissatisfied I am that this business will be 
handled in no very liberal spirit. I do not by any means, for 
all that, think that this affords you a just reason for refusing 
your compliance; because if it is not yet God's pleasure to open 
a door, it is our duty to creep through the windows, or press 
through the smallest holes that give us entry, rather than allow 
an opportunity of bringing about a happy arrangement to escape 
us. I learn that the queen mother is so very desirous of hearing 
you, that it is not now in your power to put off any longer with- 
out occasioning very general complaints. And though I am 
persuaded that you have the matter too much at heart to require 
to be stimulated or encouraged by any remarks of mine, I 
would nevertheless have our brethren to be well reminded be- 
forehand, that if they take any false step in the outset, they 
will be exposed to blame, as also if they should not be sufficiently 
energetic in stirring up the council. If you are resolved to un- 
dertake this mission, your shortest road will lie through Bur- 
gundy. You will not, however, I hope, consider the abridg- 
ment of your travelling fatigue of such importance, as not to pay 
us a visit as you pass through. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and venerable brother. Salute 
most affectionately in my name M. Bullinger and all your 
brother pastors, whom from the heart I honour. May the 

were now preparing at Paris, Martyr repaired to France. He spoke but once, at the 
colloquv of Poi?sy. lie was back at Zurich by the 21st of November, 1561. 


210 SULCER. [1561. 

Lord continue to govern you by his Spirit and enrich you with 
his gifts. My best wishes for your wife and family. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. orig — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


Journey of Beza and Martyr to France — Preparations for the colloquy of Poissy — 
Intrigues at the court of Wurfcemberg. 

Geneva, 23(i Augimt, 1561. 

I received your letter, most accomplished sir, written to Beza, 
when a short while ago he had taken his departure for France. 
He travelled by post-horses, because it would not have been 
safe for him to undertake the journey openly. We could not 
obtain a safe conduct, as they call it, because the queen mother 
was unwilling to expose herself to so much unpopularity with 
the Pope. The king of Navarre, however, pledged his faith in 
a letter written to our council. Privately also the king himself, 
his brother the Prince of Cond^, and the Admiral earnestly 
urged Beza not to protract his departure any longer, because 
he would have need to make all possible dispatch if he wished 
to arrive at the proper moment. They also entreated me rather 
to push him forward immediately than to retard him. A safe- 
conduct was sent some time ago to Doctor Peter Martyr, by 
which he is not sent for, but which enjoins all the governors of 
the provinces to afford him a secure journey as he passes along. 
The king of Navarre afterwards asked the council of Zurich the 
same thing which he had demanded of ours. The messenger is 
not yet returned, but I shall know before three days whether 
he will come or not. 

You are surprised that none of your doctors from Germany 

'As a zealous Lutheran, Sulcer wished to see some of the principal divines of tho 
Confession of Augsburg called to the colloquy at Poissy ; whilst Calvin saw in the 
presence of these same divines at the colloquy, an occasion of discord which the ad- 
versaries of the gospel in France could not fail to turn to their advantage. See the 
following letter to the King of Navarre. 

1561.] SULCER. 211 

have been invited to the conference, know then that matters 
have not yet reached that point, that the godly are at liberty 
to profess openly that they are aiming at a secession from 
Popery. They dare not for the moment put publicly forward 
anything else but a remedy, which they are seeking for, ap- 
peasing disturbances. There is no mention made about a change 
of religion. But even if all the difficulties were removed, I 
know not why it should have entered your thoughts to wish for 
a thing which would ruin our auspicious beginnings. Assuredly 
among the princes whom you think we ought to be careful not 
to offend, the Prince of Wurtemberg is the only one who will send 

his favourite Brentz, and perhaps also P ,' who as I hear 

now holds with him the second post of honour. Hitherto Brentz 
has raved more absurdly about his ubiquity than the whole herd 
of the Papists. Now with that satellite of his he has begun to 
combat more perversely the true and real faith. Certainly, un- 
less it be our wish to afford pleasant sport to our enemies, it is 
necessary by all means to take measures to prevent these furies 
from breaking in on us, with lighted torches, to stir up greater 
contentions than those which have hitherto invaded Germany. 
For my part I had rather undergo a hundred deaths than not 
oppose vigorously such pernicious counsels. 

We are to have a conflict with the Papists. Let us sound the ^ 
trumpet to proclaim this war, not for stirring up intestine 
divisions. I confide to you more freely these complaints, be- 
cause I am perfectly aware what the Prince of Wurtemberg was 
aiming at, when he sent on a mission, the nephew of Vergerio, 
whose uncle was lured, as we cannot help believing, by a bribe. 
Certainly he reaped some profit for his complaisance. When 
the affairs shall be mature, a method of entering on some league 
will be carefully meditated, but it will be one that will not 
trouble our domestic tranquillity. For those who desire the 
kingdom of Christ to be restored are not so senseless as know- 
ingly to admit among them a brand of discords. For my own 
part, as I am thoroughly persuaded of the sincerity of your 
mind, so I make no doubt but you will easily recede from your 

' The word is illegible in the manuscript. 

212 THE KING OF NAVARRE. [1561. 

former intention, when you shall have more closely considered the 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and honoured brother. May 
the Lord always protect and govern you, and bless your labours. 
You have discharged a duty agreeable to God and the church 
towards the Piedmontese brethren, when by your influence some 
relief was afforded to their necessities. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. orig. — Library Freyo-Grynaeana of Basle. Vol. ix. p. 93.] 

DCV. — To THE King of Navarre,' 

Warning on the subject of the Lutheran intrigues to introduce into France the Con- 
fession of Augsburg. 

Geneva, August, 1561. 

Sire : — The sad news which we have of the state of the king- 
dom has forced us to write to you, and beg you to open your 
eyes and see what must be sufficiently notorious. For even the 
most blinded may perceive, as if they felt with their hands, the 
plottings and intrigues which have been set on foot, to break off 
whatever has been well commenced, and overturn from one day to 
another all good conclusions, and bring back things to such a 
point, that Jesus Christ with his gospel will ere long be banished 
from the kingdom.^ Now he will not suffer himself to be thus 
mocked, and he will know well how to take the crafty in their 

' The end is wanting. For title, " To the King of Navarre, to deter him from receiv- 
ing the Confession of Augsburg." An intrigue ably contrived by the Duke of Guise 
and the Cardinal of Lorraine had engaged the Duke of AVurtemberg to demand the 
adoption of the formulary of Augsburg, as the symbol of the Reformed churches of 
France. — Hist. Eccl., vol. i.. p. 691. This step, provoked by the adversaries of French 
Protestantism, to bring on a conflict between the two grand communions of the Re- 
formation, unhappily divided on the question of the sacraments, had already excited 
the inquietude of the Theologians of both parties. Always feeble and irresolute, the 
King of Navarre seemed to be inclined to favour the project of the Guises. In a 
severe message Calvin warned him, but in vain, to be on bis guard against the perfi- 
dious intrigues of his enemies. 

'The edict of July (1561), promulgated at the demand of the Cardinal of Lorraine, 
had just interdicted, under pain of banishment, the religious meetings of the Reformed, 
before the assembling of a general council. 

1561.] THE KING OF NAVARRE. 213 

own trap ; but in tlie mean time, sire, it is your duty not to per- 
mit and suffer the truth of God to be thus betrayed in the sight 
of all. It is possible you may have thought to gain something 
by concessions, but the evil is springing up abundantly and 
gaining but too much strength ; and if you be not on your guard 
disorders will arise from it, in a moment of time much more se- 
rious than you imagine, and then it will no longer be time to 
remedy them, for God will take vengeance, in order to punish 
the indifference of those who shall have neglected their duty, 
according to the rank and degree in which he had established 
them. If we speak rather sharply, sire, believe me now is the 
time to do so, or never. 

On the other hand, we havff heard that the Duke of Wurtem- 
berg, suborned by those whom it is not necessary to mention, 
is soliciting you to employ your influence to have the Confession 
of Augsburg received in France.' Suppose, sire, that this man 
is playing on a stage his part just as it has been distributed to 
him.^ But in God's name reflect how the confession of faith 
which the French churches have sworn to follow and maintain 
has been ratified, and even though it had not been signed by 
the blood of martyrs, yet since it has been extracted from the 
pure word of God and presented to the king and his council, 
you cannot reject it, nor so huddle up the matter but that God 
will oppose your designs, and show you by effects that he will 
be listened to and believed. With regard to the Confession of 
Augsburg, how dare the Duke of Wurtemberg beg you to receive 
it, when we reflect that he and his like condemn the author of 
it, who is Melancthon? However, we shall leave him out of the 
question, since they have forced him to play a part in speaking 
of a thing of which he is entirely ignorant. The fact is, that 
the most renowned persons of that party agree like dog and 
cat. We are much deceived if the person who 'brought you the 
letters be not the nephew of one Vergerio, a foreigner from 

' The Duke of Wurtemberg, accompanied by two of his ministers, Brentz and 
Andre, had met the princes of Lorraine at Saverne. " The Cardinal," says Beza, 
" having made a present of some silver plate to these two good preachers, he knew 
80 well how to adapt himself to them, that this simple prince thought he had more 
than half converted him." . . . Hist. Eccl., vol. i., p. 691. 

" There are here some words wanting in the manuscript. 

214 THE KING OF NAVARRE. [1561. 

Italy, and one of the most barefaced intriguers that ever ex- 
isted.^ There is another clownish apostate, Baudouin,* who has 
already apostatized three or four times from Jesus Christ, and 
it is just possible he may have so insinuated himself into your 
favour, as to deceive you with regard to his character, if you 
were not apprized of it. We then entreat your majesty to be 
on your guard amid so many snares, and again we pray you in 
the name of God not to allow yourself to be shaken hither and 
thither, in order that the word of God may be maintained un- 
impaired, which it is impossible to be otherwise than by preserv- 
ing to it its simplicity. There is a common saying among the 
people about crooked loaves in a batch, which might teach you 
to reject those who endeavour to'»persuade you by dissembling 
pretexts. For though at first they may make you believe this 
or that, we declare to you in virtue of Him who has given, 
us authority to speak, that the issue will be unfortunate, and we 
warn you of it in good time, fearing lest you experience.^ . . . 
[Fr. Orig. — Library of Paris, Diipuy. Vol. 102.] 

' Paolo Vergerio, formerly Bishop of Capo-d'Istria di Friuli, and Legate of Pope 
Paul III., at Ratisbonne. Gained over to the Reform by Melancthon, he gave up hia 
bishopric, and took up his abode in the Grisons. Being an ardent Lutheran, he was 
accused of having devoted himself to the propagation of the formulary of Augsburg, 
from motives of personal interest. 

' See vol. i., p. 133, note 1. A Calvinist at Geneva, a Catholic at Paris, a Lutheran at 
Heidelberg, Baudouin had but too well merited by his religious inconstancy, the stig- 
matizing epithets of triple apostate (rptran-oorarjjj) and outcast (cK^ioXiftos). A deser- 
ter from all communions, he had been favourably received by the King of Navarre, 
who counted on employing him usefully in effecting a reconciliation between the 

'Without date. The end is wanting. But the date is furnished us by a letter 
of Calvin to Bullinger of the 5th November, 1561, in which we remark the following 
passage : — " Long ago I had discovered that the devil was plotting, by clandestine 
arts, a thing which is now very apparent, and three months before I had carefully 
reminded the King of Navarre to be on his guard against snares." The letter to 
which he alludes in this passage is then of the month of August, 1561 

1561.] THEODORE BEZA. 215 

DCVI.— To Theodore Beza.' 

Death of Guillaume de Trie— Scarcityof ministers at Geneva. 

Geneva, 27th August, 1661. 

I am obliged to dictate this letter to you from bed, and in the 
deepest affliction from the loss of my dear friend De Varennes,'* 
who has hitherto been my principal stay and comfort in all my 
troubles. One thing affords me no slight consolation in my 
sorrow, which is that nothing could have been more calm than 
the manner of his death, which he seemed to invite with out- 
stretched arms as cheerfully as if it had been some delicious 
enjoyment. His disease was mortal from the beginning, but it 
was only the day before yesterday towards the evening that we 
began to give up all hopes. He suddenly set in order all his 
domestic affairs, and so expeditiously indeed that he had finished 
everything in less than half an hour, and yet he omitted nothing. 
After that, as if he had taken farewell of his illness, and had 
done with this earthly life, all his thoughts and conversation 
turned only on eternal happiness. His discourse was like that 
of a man in perfect health. His life was protracted till the 
commencement of yesterday night. For one hour only he was 

' To my well beloved brother, Monsieur de ChallonS, at court. 

He had arrived the 20th of August, and received the most flattering welcome 
from the queen mother, and the principal Protestant Seigneurs. Hist. EccL, vol. i. pp. 
496, 497. 

" See vol. ii. p. 93. Guillaume de Trie, Seigneur de Varennes, was one of the most 
distinguished members of that French emigration, which gave to Geneva Jean de 
Bud6, Charles de Jonvillers, and the brothers Colladon. He inhabited a house close 
by Oalvin's in the Rue des Chanoines. From the year 1549, the period of his es- 
tablishment at Geneva, he had constantly lived on intimate terms with the Reformer, 
with whose sentiments he entirely concurred. He showed this in a particular manner 
by being the first to denounce to a Catholic gentleman of Lyons the heresy of Servetus, 
thus provoking the first judicial pursuits, which were terminated at Vienne, as at 
Geneva, by a capital condemnation. The letters of Guillaume de Trie to Claude 
Arneys his cousin, attributed without reason to Calvin himself, and inserted in the 
Mimoirea de I'Abbe d'Artigny, vol. iii. p. , are a proof with what equal horror the 
negations of Servetus, were regarded by both Catholics and the Reformed, a horror 
which caused the destruction of the unfortunate Spanish innovator. 

216 THEODORE BEZA. [1561. 

deprived of the faculty of speech, but he showed signs of unim- 
paired intelligence, till he breathed his last, and he expired with 
such tranquillity that no one of us could mark the transition 
from life to death. He then is happy — I wretched.' 

At your departure lately two things escaped my memory 
about which I had resolved to consult you. You are aware that 
we had changed our resolution respecting De Collonges, and de- 
termined that no successor should be appointed to replace him, 
and we did so because his stay with the duchess could not be of 
long duration. We on the contrary from the smallness of our 
number are unequal to our task. Three days after your de- 
parture, Anduse was laid up with the gout, and Colladon with a 
fever. It is necessary that Collonges and Merlin consult each 
other, which of the two with least inconvenience and loss can 
return to us as speedily as possible. The necessity of the case 
will be a sufficient apology. I wished to send you word in the 
second place, that Hugh Reni is still detained a prisoner, and 
that you ought to undertake the charge of having him set at 
liberty, otherwise with such unjust and unprincipled judges he 
might rot in his dungeon. There is another in nearly the same 
condition that I imagined had been liberated. He is the son- 
in-law of M. Passy, who wrote that he did not think it lawful 
for him to comply with the prescribed condition, nor that he 
should make any promise for the time to come. He does not 
object to be banished. His father-in-law with great earnest- 
ness commends him to your care, I too at his request ; and that 
he may understand that his entreaties are not of small im- 
portance, you will not only undertake this of&ce, but in your 
first letter you will render an account of your activity in the 

Farewell, most worthy brother. May the Lord assist, govern, 

'We read in Beza's answer to Calvin : "This is our condition, that we should in- 
struct one another, not less by our death than by our life. On my departure my mind 
presaged something unfortunate respecting our friend De Varennes. But since he has 
taken his departure from among us in so blessed a manner, I rejoice that I was a false 
prophet. For nothing evil has happened to him, except this perhaps that by his death 
he has left his friends in deep affliction, whom while he was alive he never offended. 
He has had the good fortune to go before us, and it is my desire that we should 
epeedily follow him " 12th September 1561. 

1561.] THEODORE BEZA. 217 

and protect you, Amen. Salute my brethren and friends. — 

Charles Passelius. 

[Lat. orig. autogr. — Library of Gotha. Vol. 409, p. 90-] 

DCVIL— To Theodore Beza.^ 

Fresh deaths at Geneya — Distrust of the Cardinals of Lorraine and Ferrara. 

Geneva, dd September, 1561. 

Lest I should have to mourn but for one death, three days 
after that of my friend De Varennes, the oldest pastor has fol- 
lowed him to the tomb. We have given up all hopes respecting 
the life of Baduel. Yesterday the wife of our treasurer, after 
having seemed recovered from the suiFerings of child birth, 
died suddenly of convulsions of the nerves. And not to 
go on enumerating our losses, Nicholas Ign^e was suifocated 
by a catarrh in the short space of nine hours. It is some 
consolation that Beraud is gradually recovering, as well as 
his wife, who was lately very nearly cut off by a premature 
delivery. She is now, however, doing well, and her child is 
alive. I lately asked you that one of your two colleagues 
should return here. Contrive to see that done as speedily 
as possible. If Des Gallars were at liberty, and the church 
over which he has been set should suffer no detriment, we 
should like him to be restored to us. But as the matter was 
uncertain we have thought proper not to stir in it. Time will 
show us what is proper and advantageous, but I warn you in 
time ; be not put off your guard by the friendship of the Cardinal 
of Lorraine. His brother, the Cardinal of Ferrara^ had also 

' On his arrival at court, the 24th August, 1661, Beza had found the most favourable 
welcome from the Protestant nobility, from the regent Catherine de Medieis, from the 
Cardinal of Lorraine himself, who embracing him cordially said to him, " I am happy 
to have a conference with you, to hear your reasons and give you mine. You will 
find that I am not so black as I have been painted." Hist. EccL, vol. i. p. 497. 

*The Cardinal Hippolite d'Este, brother-in-law of Renee of France, whom Calvin 
had known at the court of Ferrara. 


218 THEODOKE BEZA [1561. 

imposed upon me. For when he lavished his caresses on me 
here some thirteen years ago, he promised that he would also be 
one of the best of my friends. Beware then of showing your- 
self too much elated and too proud towards me, because you see 
it would be easy for me to retaliate, especially as a Legate over- 
tops all Cardinals whatsoever. 

Farewell, most excellent and worthy brother. May the Lord 
stand by you, govern and protect you, enrich you with all gifts, 
and prepare you for all battles, arm you with prudence against 
snares, and fortitude against terrors. Salute very carefully our 
brethren. All the brethren and your friends here salute you. 
Again, farewell. 

[CaMn's Lat. corresp., Opera, ix. p. 199.J 

DCVIIL— To Theodore Beza.^ 

Doubts respecting the efficacy of the Colloquy of Poissy— Policy of the Romish 
Prelates — Criticism of the Augsburg Confession — Divers particulars. 

Geneva, 10th September, 1561. 

The letter which you wrote to me on the 30th of August was 
put into my hands yesterday. While others are feeding our 
expectations so liberally with favourable reports, it would not be 
surprising if you felt ashamed of that stinginess of yours which 
has left us almost famished for want of news. If you desire to 

' It was not without warm opposition that the Conferences of Poissy opened on the 
9th September in presence of the king and court. The council having proposed to 
deliberate, if the Reformed should obtain a hearing, the queen mother cut the ques- 
tion short by declaring that she would have no more discussion respecting a point that 
had already been resolved affirmatively. On the eve of the opening of the synod, 
twelve doctors of the Sorbonne presented themselves before the queen, to entreat her 
not to permit the ministers of heresies to have a hearing in presence of the king; but 
to their great discontent the only answer they received was that the thing had been 
decided, and that it was not possible to adopt any new measures on that subject. 
Thus the Romish prelates were reduced to the necessity of discussing, for the first 
time, with the ministers the principles of a religion which they had hitherto con- 
demned without giving them a hearing; and whatever might be the result of the 
conference, it was a glorious day that in which the gospel was about to be freely ex- 
pounded by the organ of its gravest and must eloquent doctors. 

1561.] THEODORE BEZA. 219 

give pleasure to a great many persons, profit in that school in 
which your name is at present so celebrated, and learn to lie a 
little more audaciously ; for when others recount marvels, you 
alone scarcely let us have one glimpse of hope. But joking 
apart, remember that you are writing to me who care for no- 
thing more than to be made acquainted with the present state 
of affairs by a plain narrative. Whatever others may think, it 
has always been my conviction that the boasted results of the 
conference would come to nothing. Believe me, the Bishops 
will never proceed to a serious discussion, not that there are not 
among them some who, I have no doubt, are actuated by laud- 
able desires and expectations. But those who are at the helm 
would rather be driven to extreme courses, than forced to be 
reduced to order by such a method as this. Wherefore, I ima- 
gine that the theologians whom the Legate drags about in his 
train in such bands, and those who have come from Spain, will 
be shown off on this theatre, like those of old who were wont 
to carry about empty trophies in a public pageant. In a word, 
if you listen to me, you will give yourself no trouble about the 
conference. If they were at liberty to lay down the conditions, 
there would be some mock skirmishing, but now when they see 
that laws have been imposed on them, they will openly decline 
• all contest. The arrival of the Legate will also puff up their 
presumption ; provided only the terrors which he inspires be dis- 
sipated, as I trust they will, we need scarce look for any other 
result. Before this letter reach you, his thunders will have 
sounded. Unless I am greatly mistaken, he will not launch 
his thunderbolt, but he will threaten most savagely before he 
departs. This will test you to the quick. But should the bishops, 
for the sake of deceiving you, present themselves to the contest, 
you have Peter Martyr, who, I conclude, by computing the days 
that have elapsed since his departure, must have arrived among 
you in time. Though I earnestly entreated you not to mention 
my name, you do not cease, as I perceive, to broach projects in 
regard to me, which, in my judgment, is not expedient,^ and in 

' It was the wish of the French ministers that the most illustrious interpreter of 
their faith, Calvin himself, should be summoned to the Colloquy of Poissy. But ho 
could not appear there without exposing himself to the most imminent perils, " coa- 

220 THEODORE BEZA. [1561. 

my preface upon Daniel, I, on purpose, designed to preclude 
myself from all access to the conference ; not that I grudge my 
pains, or would shun any dangers, but because where I see so 
many fit and well instructed persons, I do not imagine that my 
presence could be of much service, and certainly all of them, 
with the exception of Merlin and yourself, are sufficiently ardent 
in the cause. I have not written to you what I thought of the 
conditions, partly because I imagined that an opinion on that 
subject would be too late when the business had been transacted, 
and partly because I was greatly pleased that what the brethren 
had demanded had been conceded to you. Had I been in their 
place, I should have feared to prescribe such hard conditions. 
On their success I partly congratulate them. I eagerly expect 
to hear the termination of the affair. I suppose you keep in 
mind what I had declared to you beforehand, that there is no 
reason to fear but that, to their great disgrace, from the conclave 
in which they have been secretly hatching their plots, will break 
out a glorious victory for you, though from the height of their 
grandeur they look down upon you. For that reason, you 
must beware lest, if you should be too obstinate in asserting 
equal rights, the blame should be cast on yourselves. The Con- 
fession of Augsburg, as you know, is the torch of our deadliest 
enemy to kindle a conflagration which will set all France on 
fire.' But it behoves you to inquire for what purpose it should 
be obtruded on you. The author of it repented of his work when 
his own faintheartedness had always been displeasing to men 
of energetic character. In most parts, also, it is adapted to 
the peculiar use of Germany. I forbear to mention that it is 
obscure in its conciseness, and mutilated by the omission of 
some articles of capital importance. Besides, it would be ab- 
surd, passing by the Confession of the French, eagerly to adopt 
that one. Need I mention what matfer for future contention 
will be amassed by this manner of proceeding ? But I am rea- 
soning just now as if the Cardinal and his satellites sincerely 

siflerJDg the rage which the enemies of the gospel had conceived against him, and 
the troubles which his very name would excite in the provinces of France, should it 
he known that he was there." — Letter of La Riviere to Calvin, 31 July, 1561, (Lib. 
of Geneva.) 
'See page 212. 


embraced that confession, whereas they are only laying snares 
for you, that the present business being once disposed of they 
may throw every thing into confusion. To that end, a pamphlet 
was published at Bale. I suspect, nay, I am almost certain, 
that Baudouin is the author of it.* I should like to give the 
scoundrel a drubbing according to his deserts, but I am over- 
whelmed with the multiplicity of my private correspondence, 
and the little vigour I once possessed begins to flag. I shall 
persist, however, as far as my strength will permit. I learn, 
also, that I know not what decree has been published at Paris 
respecting the connecting of history with jurisprudence in which 
you are odiously reflected on. At present, Baudouin is said to 
be concocting some new poison along with his abettor, Cassan- 
der. I imagine you have it at heart to procure us relief by your 
aid. If you loiter now, he who is to come after you will have 
to bestir himself. 

Farewell, most excellent brother, as well as all your asso- 
ciates. May the Lord govern you by the spirit of prudence 
and fortitude, may he protect and bless your labours. My col- 
leagues send to you all their best wishes. Our friends, also, 
whom it would be tedious to enumerate. Would to God, that 
one of whom death has deprived us were still in the number. 
\^Calvin's Lat. Corresp.— Opera, ix., p. 156.] 

DCIX. — To THE Admiral Coligny.' 

He puts him on his guard against the Catholic and Lutheran intrigues — Recall of the 

minister Merlin to Genera. 

Geneva, 2ith Sepiemher, 1561 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — I Can easily imagine that every day you 
have to bear up against alarms that are raised against you ; not 

' See for further details on this subject the letter to the Queen of Navarre of the 
24:th December, 1561. 

" A letter written during the Colloquy of Poissy, which began the 9th September, 
and finished the 24th October, 1561. Present at the conferences, the Admiral showed 
himself every day more resolute in pursuing by legal means the establishment of reli- 
gious liberty in France. Theodore Beza preached several times in his hotel, in pre- 



only by those who openly declare themselves the enemies of the 
truth of God, but especially by those trimmers that swim be- 
tween two currents, feigning to favour the good party and yet 
having all their looks turned only towards the world and en- 
tirely dependent on it.' I am quite sure that seeing them veer 
and stagger in this manner you are often distressed. But it 
is a good lesson for you, Monseigneur, when there is neither 
shore nor bottom in those that are tossed by the vanity of the 
world, to jSx the deeper your anchor in heaven, as we are ex- 
horted to do by the Apostle. Be that as it will, I pray you to 
hold on courageously ; that is more important than all human 
hope, fortifying yourself more and more to despise all the hin- 
drances which might retard you, for we cannot sa,y with St. 
Paul that we have fought a good fight to receive the crown of 
righteousness, if we have not completed our course. But I take 
it for granted that He that has so well disposed you for his ser- 
vice, and displayed in you such power of his Spirit, will not 
leave his work imperfect, but will stay your hand even to the end. 
I am even pretty well convinced that the arrival of the Le- 
gate'^ will have given rise to some harder skirmishing ; people 
demanding that all examination of the points in debate should 

sence of the most considerable personages of the court. "To-day," wrote he to Cal- 
vin, " I preached at the Admiral's, who kept me to dinner. After dinner, dropped in 
the Cardinal de Chatillon and M. de Montmorency, who I see stand well afl'ected to us, 
as, in truth, matters are now set in motion with a wonderful impulse." — Letter of the 
25th August. MSS. of Geneva, vol. 117. Another letter of Beza's to the seigneury, 
mentioned by the registers of the council, contained some familiar details which the 
gravity of history will not disdain. " The said letter also mentioned that the Admi- 
ral had a parrot which kept continually screaming : Vie, vie, la messe est aholie. (Life, 
life, the mass is abolished.) N'oserait-on parler de Dieu en tout lieu ? (Should we 
not dare to speak of God everywhere ?) Parlous de Dieu en tout lieu. (Let us speak 
of God everywhere.) — Extraits des Registres. [This parrot's doggerel is worth preserv- 
ing, as a characteristic trait of the times, but it is impossible to render the childish 
jingle of the words.] 

' Allusion to the King of Navarre already gained over by the Guises. Beza giving 
an account to Calvin of his first interview with this prince, thus expressed himself; — 
" As to the king, . . . the main point of our conversation was that I said I was greatly 
afraid that very soon he would not be so delighted with my arrival, unless he thought 
of acting otherwise. He began to laugh, and I replied it was in sober earnest he 
ought to think of it." — Letter already quoted. 

' The Cardinal of Ferrara, Hippolite d'Este. Ho was charged by Pope Pius IV. to 
break up the Conferences of Poissy in demanding that all the religious questions 
should be brought before the Council of Trent. 


be referred to this fine council. Now, Monseigneur, it seems to 
me that for the diffident who tremble even at their own shadow, 
here is the true point for blunting the shock of the council. It 
is that the king,' without making more ample declaration of wish- 
ing to change the religion, should join with the Queen of England, 
the German princes, the Swiss who belong to our party, to pro- 
test and declare the nullity of this Council of Trent, both be- 
cause of the place where it is held, which is not of safe access, 
and because it is neither free nor^ . . so as to be able to treat 
independently of the points that are to-day in litigation, seeing 
that one party alone sits in it to judge every thing according to 
their good pleasure, without the other party being heard, or 
having any opportunity afforded them of maintaining the doc- 
trine which the bishops already consider as condemned without 
entering into further examination or debate. 

I know that the German princes will require them to specify 
more distinctly the causes of opposition, nay, that they will 
wish to saddle them with their Confession of Augsburg.^ But 
the kins: will indeed have influence to make them remain satis- 
fied with a more simple declaration, as it will not occasion them 
any prejudice. Especially I entreat you, Monseigneur, to hold 
firm and not allow the Confession of Augsburg to be brought 
into the question, which would only be a torch to light the fire 
of discord. And, in point of fact, it is such a meagre compo- 
sition, so feeble and so obscure, that it is impossible to stop 
short at its conclusions. As to the rest of the Swiss, it would 
be expedient that the king should exhort them all to join with 
him in such a protestation, which has no other object than to 
reform abuses in the church, since to accomplish this end it is 
necessary the points of difference should be well ascertained 
and discussed, and the two parties heard each in its own cause. 

' The young king, Charles IX. The queen mother, then docile to the inspirations 
of the Chancellor L'Hopital, and favourable to the Protestant party, seemed sincerely 
to desire a reform of the church. 

'A word illegible in the manuscript. Perhaps universal. 

* Several theologians of Tubingen, Jacques Buclin, Jacques Andre, and Balthazar 
Bidenach, had just arrived at Poissy. The Comte Palatine had also sent the doctors, 
Michel Diller and Jean Boquin, who, says Beza, did not agree with the three others, 
but supported the Confession of the French churches. — Hist. EccL, vol. i., pp. 615, 616. 


I say this, because the king instead of shrinking from it Tvill 
make overtures for the renewing of the alliance ; not that this 
will have any immediate results, but after they have fretted for 
some time, I assure you, that this offer will produce an excel- 
lent effect a year after.' 

I have also to beg of you, Monseigneur, that considering our 
urgent necessity you will be pleased to release M. de Montroy 
from his engagement.^ For since his departure we have lost 
three members of our society. M. Beza,^ and he who went to 
join the duchess,* are absent. Our burden then is too heavy, 
unless we be speedily relieved. ... I have prolonged the 
term as much as I could, but I am obliged to beg of you not to 
be offended if, at least, he make a tour hither to relieve us till 
God have provided for us otherwise. I believe, Monseigneur, 
that in your wisdom and equity you will not take it amiss that 
he should return to the flock to which he is bound, and which 
he has not quitted. It is possible, also, that God will send to 
you in his stead another so suitable that you shall have no rea- 
son to regret his absence. This is not to insinuate that those 
who have sent him to you are not always equally ready to busy 
themselves in rendering you a service, but I assure you that for 

' Swisserland was divided into two camps — the Catholic cantons, the natural allies 
of France, and the Reformed cantons, which a tolerant policy might dispose to enter 
into the circle of the alliance and the military capitulations. 

* The Minister Merlin. The Admiral in giving him permission to return, wrote in 
these terms to the seigneurs of Geneva : — "Messieurs: — In consequence of what M. 
d'Espeville has written to me, I send you back M. de Montroy, the present bearer, 
whom I have always kept near my person, and I will tell you that I have received 
from him as much satisfaction by his exhortations and excellent conduct as I ever 
have from any man. So that I will pray you still, Messieurs, if it be at all possible 
that you can do without him, that you would be kind enough to do me the favour of 
letting me have him. I mean that you should try to procure for yourselves some 
minister in your neighbourhood, where it would be impossible for me to do so, and 
that you would consent to send back M. de Montroy to me to take up his residence with 
me. For desiring to make the profession which I wish to make, I should be much 
distressed not to have a minister. In doing this you will bind me still more to y(ju. 
Whereupon, I commend myself most afiFectionately to your indulgent favour, and I 
will supplicate the Creator, Messieurs, to grant you long and happy life. — From St. 
Germain en Laye, this 6th October, 1561. Tour most devoted friend, 

3 Then deputy at the Colloquy of Poissy. 
* Francis de Morel, almoner of the Duchess of Ferrara. 

1561.] MADAME DE COLIGNY. 225 

the present moment we are in such straits that the instance I give 
you of our difficulties deserves to be favourably received.' 

Whereupon, Monseigneur, having humbly commended myself 
to your indulgent favour, I will supplicate our Father and our 
Lord to fortify you with invincible constancy, to increase in you 
the gifts of his Spirit, and to keep you under his protection. 
[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCX. — To Madame de Coligny.^ 

He congratulates her on her perseverance amidst many temptations and perils. 

Geneva, 24(A September, 1561. 

I should accuse myself for having so long forborne to write 
to you, were it not that he who makes up by his word for the 
want of my letters must have given you sufficient reasons for 
my silence. I have been led to suppose, also, that you have 
accepted, instead of letters addressed to yourself, the duty which 
I have fulfilled in that respect towards your husband. 1 have 
not ceased in the mean time to thank God for having so con- 
tinued his grace in you that, amid many temptations and great 
difficulties, you have constantly persevered in his service to such a 
degree, as to be an example to those who were too weak or too timid. 
Now, Madame, you ought to reflect that our merciful Father 
having advanced you thus far, you are so much the more bound 
to make every effort, till you have entirely finished your course. 
I pray you then to practise the rule which St. Paul gives us by 
his own example — to forget the things which are behind — not 
once to look at them, and, as if, having thus laboured, you had 

' The Minister Merlin became again, some years afterwards, the almoner of Co- 
ligny. He was with the Admiral on the night of the 24th August, 1572, and almost 
miraculously survived the massacre of St. Bartholomew. 

" She had quitted the Chateau of Chatillon-sur-Loing, her usual residence, to go to 
St. Germain where the court was at that time. In his letters to Calvin, Beza bears 
testimony to the firmness of Madame the Amirale, and of her niece, the Princess of 
Conde : — " With a troop a hundred times greater than I could have wished, I was con- 
ducted to the house of Madame the Princess, and Madame the Amirale, whom I 
found marvellously well disposed." — Letter already quoted. 


226 MADAME DE COLIGNY. [1561. 

yet done nothing to reach forward to that which remains, till 
you have attained the mark to which we should be ever stretch- 
ing during our whole life. For if this holy apostle having 
borne himself so valiantly, and having supported combats so 
admirable of every kind, and during so long a space of time, 
confesses nevertheless that he has not attained to what he was 
aspiring after, and in order to take better courage accounts that he 
would have commenced in vain, unless he held on, what should 
we think of ourselves, who are still very far from having made 
so much progress? Thus, Madame, I pray you, whatever hap- 
pens, never be weary of employing yourself in the service of so 
good a Father ; as also I am convinced that you are not of the 
number of those who would wish to obtain a discharge after a 
certain term of service, persuading themselves that what they 
have already done is quite sufficient. Now God does not accept 
of us on such a condition ; but as he desires to remain our heri- 
tage, so he also desires that we should remain his followers, to de- 
dicate ourselves entirely to his service, whether in life or in death. 
For, in truth, if we die not for him and in him ; that is to say, 
in his obedience and in the faith and hope of his fatherly kind- 
ness, we cannot attain to that heavenly life which has been pur- 
chased for us at so dear a price. Though the world should 
turn, change, and be tossed about by every wind, let us remain 
firm in this conviction, and set up our rest in it, for there is no 
other prosperity nor happiness except that of being the people 
of God, according as it is said in the Psalm ; and if the world 
does not taste that happiness, let us recognize that God accom- 
plishes in us, by a singular privilege, what is said elsewhere, 
that he makes all those that fear him to feel in secret the 
infinite greatness of his bounty, of which he will give you an 
assured experience, even in this perishable life, while you are 
waiting to be received into that life everlasting for which we 
hope, in order fully to enjoy what is now concealed from our 

Madame, having humbly commended myself to your indul- 
gent favour, etc. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 


He encourages her to persevere with her daughters in the profession of the truth. 

Geneva, 24:th September, 1561. 

Madame : — If I have delayed so long in answering your 
letters, it is partly because I did not know whither to address 
mine, and partly from shame, inasmuch as I was unable to 
satisfy your holy desire, for you asked me for three men capable 
of being employed in the service of God and of his church, de- 
signating the places where you intended to send them, in order 
that I might be the more incited to make all diligence. The 
same message had been already conveyed to me orally by a 
man of Noyon, who said he had been charged with such a com- 

Now I assure you, Madame, that we are at the present 
moment so unprovided with ministers, that I preferred, not 
having found suitable persons, to delay the execution of my 
commission rather than send persons that might not have given 
you satisfaction. I wish indeed that I had had a less valid excuse. 
But when M. Beza shall have confirmed it, I hope you will 
accept it. For the rest, Madame, I have much reason to glorify 
God for the great courage with which he has inspired you for 
advancing the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for causing 
you to make a frank and pure declaration of following the truth 
of the gospel in life and in death, since all our happiness stands 
in being disciples of this great Master, and subjects of this 
sovereign King, who has been sent to us from heaven to with- 
draw us from perdition to the hope of eternal salvation, which 
he has purchased for us. 

' Madeleine de Mailly, Comtesse de Roye, sister of the Admiral de Coligny, and 
inother-in-law of the Prince de Condfe. Endowed, says the historian De Thou, with 
a superior genius and an intrepid mind, this lady embraced the Reform at the same 
time as her b'rothers, the Seigneurs of Chatillon, shared the perils of the Prince of 
Conde her son-in-law, recovered her liberty like him at the death of Francis II., and 
showed herself constantly faithful to the cause of the Reformed, in good as well as in 
bad fortune. Living at Strasbourg during the first war of religion, she returned to 
France after the conclusion of the peace of Amboiso, and died in 1567. 






Wherefore without this heritage, woe to all the riches, de- 
lights and honours of the world. And jet as we see how this 
inestimable treasure is despised by most men, and held in no 
esteem, so much the more reason have you for rejoicing that 
God has made you a partaker of the privilege of renouncing all 
the vanities of this world, which dazzle our eyes and cause us 
to float in continual anxiety, to find a true rest and abide therein. 
You have aloo another blessing in addition to those which have 
been already bestowed on you, in seeing your daughters, the 
princess as well as her sister,' keeping you company in tend- 
ing towards the chief end of our existence, giving themselves up 
with one accord and dedicating their lives to the obedience of 
the pure truth. Now, Madame, though I have heard with what 
zeal you desire to serve God, nevertheless I pray you to take 
more and more courage, striving to overcome all the obstacles 
that might retard you, as you may be sure you shall always 
have many. And indeed these are the exercises of our faith, to 
fight against all the temptations which Satan devises and em- 
ploys to turn us aside from the straight path. Aim then, 
Madame, at this perseverance, not doubting but the heavenly 
Father will conduct you even to the end, as he has a more than 
singular care about your salvation, and that Jesus Christ, that 
good Shepherd, who has undertaken the charge of you, will keep 
and protect you. 

Madame, having humbly commended myself to your indulgent 
favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to govern you by 
his Holy Spirit, and increase you in all good and prosperity, 
[jpr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

' Eleonore de Roye, Princess of Conde, and Charlotte de Roye her sister, wife of 
the Comte de la Rochefoucauld. 

1561.] THEODORE BEZA. 229 

DCXIL— To Theodore Beza.» 

He compliments him on his noble attitude at the Colloquy of Poissy, and rejoices at 

his success. 

Geneva, 24th September, 1561. 

If you receive from me two letters at the same time, he who 
undertook the charge of them must bear the blame of it for his 
inactivity. Certainly, as messengers were at his disposal every 
third day, he cannot exculpate himself for having neglected his 
duty till the ninth. We had been amply informed from other 
quarters of the magnificent transaction of which you write to 
us ; but it was far more agreeable to have the whole affair set as 
it were before our eyes, and glean our information from your 
own testimony, than to listen to the accounts of others, who for 
the most part vitiate the purity of history by their fondness for 
embellishment. That was an auspicious day in which liberty 
was secured for the churches, a liberty which they will be obliged 
to concede, and which it will be most difiicult for them to take 

Your speech is now before us, in which God in a marvellous 
manner directed your mind and your tongue. That it stirred 
up the bile of the holy fathers was an inevitable consequence, 
but you could not help that, unless you had been inclined to ter- 
giversate and expose yourself to their taunts. I am surprised 
that they broke out into tumultuous murmurs for that single 
reason, when in other passages they had been no less hardly hit. 
But it is a foolish pretence that the conference has been broken 

' The letter of Baza to Calvin, containing an account of the first sitting of the Col- 
loquy, still preserved in the Library of Geneva, is unfortunately truncated, but all the 
details of that important day are well known, and we can read in divers collections, 
the fine harangue pronounced by Theodore de Beza in the name of the Reformed 
churches. The orator showed himself full of moderation and dignity, and was listened 
to with the greatest attention, till the moment when he declared "that the body of 
Christ, though spiritually communicated in the Lord's supper, is as far removed from 
the bread as heaven is distant from the earth." The murmurs of the prelates who 
interrupted him were less the expression of a private dissent, than the revelation 
of the absolute incompatibility existing between the Church of Rome and that of 

230 THEODORE BEZA. . [1561. 

up for this cause of offence, for they would have found a hundred 
others, they ^yho now so eagerly snap at one, as if with some 
modifications they assented to the rest of our doctrine. This 
circumstance then also fell out very fortunately. I rejoice that 
De Spina has frankly and publicly declared his adherence to the 
cause of Christ. In a letter which I have written to him I ex- 
hort him to persevere.^ I am anxious to learn with what adroit- 
ness the Cardinal will attempt to put a good face on these pro- 
ceedings.^ An end has been put as I conjecture to all lighter 
bickering, and yet I do not apprehend that there will be any 
serious contest. Now though I have advised you not to 
demand too promptly your dismissal, nevertheless the Legate 
will do me a welcome service if he send you off as speedily as 
possible. It is with truth that you speak of the remains of my 
friends, for among the few that have been spared to me, I seem 
to myself to stand almost alone. All our colleagues very warmly 
salute you. 

Farewell, most excellent brother. May the Lord always 
govern you, strengthen you with invincible constancy and 
courage, stand by you in your holy labours, and preserve you 
safe and uninjured. I desire to salute all your associates. As 
often as you shall keep silence longer than ten days, which has 
now happened to you the second time, I shall proclaim you a 

[Calvin's Lat. corresp., Opera, ix. p. 157.] 

' Jean de Spina, an old monk and celebrated Catholic divine, converted to the Re- 
formed faith. Beza announced in the following terms this event to Calvin "De 
Spina has fairly joined us and submitted himself to the judgment of the church. We 
on our part, with every demonstration of joy, have held out to him the rifht hand of 
fellowship and have clearly concluded that that day has shone out a most auspicious 
one for us." 

"The reply of the Cardinal de Lorraine, though very skilfully conceived, but half- 
satisfied the assembly. He himself recognized the superiority of Beza by this avowal 
" I wish he had been dumb, or that we had been deaf." 

1561.] THE COMTE OF ERBACH. 231 


He urges him to employ his influence to prevent every attempt to introduce the Con- 
fession of Augsburg into France. 

Geneva, ZOth September, 1561. 

It is against my inclinations that I am now troublesome in 
writing to you, most noble and illustrious seigneur, for consider- 
ing the distance that separates us, my letter cannot convey to you 
any information which has not become obsolete, and which conse- 
quently cannot much interest you. But in the present moment 
a just motive, or rather necessity, urges me to address you, for 
I have been given to understand that the most illustrious Prince 
Palatine, and other confederated princes, having decided upon 
sending an embassy to France, are still deliberating among them- 
selves respecting the instructions to be given to its members, 
and that thus the expedition has been hitherto suspended. If, 
then, I appear to mix myself up with this business more inti- 
mately than my condition warrants, I entreat you to pardon, 
with your usual indulgence, my solicitude should I labour to meet 
a danger which already presents itself so palpably to my obser- 
vation. For I not only suspect but I distinctly perceive that a 
great many persons are obstinately bent upon obtruding the 
Confession of Augsburg on the French. The Duke of Wurtem- 
berg had already made the same attempt four months ago, and 
Brentz, by the suggestion of the devil, certainly has actively 
and zealously, though fraudulently, busied himself, that by pre- 
senting to them the absurdity of his doctrine of ubiquity he 
might fascinate our French brethren. IIow pernicious that 
would prove, I shall briefly explain. First, a Confession has 
been published long ago by all the French churches, to Avhich 
every one who is admitted into the rank of a pastor gives his 
assent by a solemn subscription. The same Confession has 
been repeatedly presented to the royal council. In an assem- 

' See the Letter, page 56. This new letter to the Comte Eberard bore the following 
superscription : — " To the high-born and most noble Comte of Erbach, high chamber- 
lain of the Palatine court, my very honoured and esteemed seigneur." 

232 COMTE OF ERBACH. [1561. 

blj of all the princes and bishops, the king lately received the 
same from ihe hands of our brother Beza, and delivered it to 
the cardinals and bishops that the discussions of the colloquy 
might turn upon it. What then could be more absurd than to 
break off a course of proceedings so auspiciously commenced? 
Should no other damage accrue from such a proceeding except 
the delay, yet even that should be carefully guarded against. 
But if the princes now interfere with a new Confession, not 
only they will bring to nought all the noble transactions in 
which the favour of God has been so marvellously conspicuous, 
but by an obstacle worse than detrimental they will overturn 
all our hopes for the future. For the Papists will eagerly lay 
hold of this subject of quarrelling ; and those among them who 
excel in craftiness, after pretending in the first synod that they 
are satisfied, as soon as matters shall have taken a new turn, 
and they perceive the French Confession annihilated, will begin 
to direct their attacks elsewhere. And what is to be thought 
of the Germans prescribing laws to us, and dictating to us, as 
if we were children ? It cannot escape your singular perspica- 
city how plausible an argument this will furnish. In addition 
to that, it will be difficult to violate the agreement which all 
the pious have come to, and which they have publicly attested. 
Unless, then, the princes avowedly wish not only to throw into 
confusion their happy commencements, but to destroy entirely 
the fruits which the incredible labour of numbers and the blood 
of so many martyrs have produced, let them desist from this 
inauspicious conflict, I say conflict, because, if they oppose 
their Confession to the one which has been received, dreadful 
disturbances will spring from it. And that no one may doubt 
whence this project has proceeded, that has been already for 
some time the object of the machinations of all those who in 
France are the bitterest enemies of Christ, and who are hurried 
on by the most deadly animosity to effect the ruin of his kingdom, 
I forbear to mention that the Saxon furies, Brentz and his ac- 
complices, have always made a bad use of the Augsburg Con- 
fession as a kind of torch to kindle a conflagration by which 
the whole of Germany has been set on fire. For that reason, 
we ought to be the more carefully on our guard lest the conta- 

1561.] THEODORE BEZA. 233 

gion of the evil penetrate into France. But since, most excel- 
lent seigneur, not only in consequence of your affinity, but also 
of your virtues, you possess very great authority and influence 
^vith your most illustrious prince, I have not hesitated familiarly 
to confide to your friendly bosom this subject of anxiety, in or- 
der that you may provide a remedy in time. I would exhort 
you more earnestly, were I not perfectly assured that from your 
own remarkable magnanimity, and the warmth of your zeal, 
you are sufficiently and more than sufficiently, of your own free- 
will, disposed to this cause. In what regards my own duty, I 
have sincerely and boldly reminded you. You, on yours, will 
decide according to your just discernment what shall be most 
expedient, and your own fidelity and religious sentiments will 
sufficiently stimulate you to strenuous efl"orts. 

Farewell, most accomplished and truly honoured seigneur. 
May the Lord continue to direct you by his Spirit, and adorn 
and enrich more and more your most distinguished family with 
every blessing. 

[Lett. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a. J 

DCXIV.— To Theodore Beza.^ 

Ecclesiastical news — Apostleship of Viret in France — Reply to Baudouin. 

Geneva, Ist October, 1561. 
Yesterday I received a couple of letters from you. If the 
bishops have been pleased or have even been permitted to enter 
into discussion with you, you have already fairly entered upon 

' Though the Colloquy was still officially assembled, its task was ended. Theodore 
Beza having asked permission in the sitting of the 16th September to reply on the 
instant to the speech of the Cardinal of Lorraine, the prelates violently opposed his 
demand, and the Cardinal of Tournon declared that "in the rery Christian kingdovi 
of France there should be but one faith, one law, one king." Disenssion was then no 
longer unfettered, and the conferences which continued for some days with shut doors 
had no longer any object. They only proved one thing, the impossibility of bring- 
ing the two chnrches to unity by mutual concessions, the duty for the government of 
pacifying people's minds by the application of a principle of sage toleration, a grand 
idea conceived by the Chancellor L'Hopital, and realized for a moment by the edict 
of January. 


234 THEODORE BEZA. [1561. 

the conference. But unless <all my conjectures very much de- 
ceive me, every hope of that kind has now vanished. I wish 
that at an early day we had an opportunity of embracing you 
here safe and in good health. But should you see any dan- 
ger arising from your too hurried departure, let us both bri- 
dle our impatience. Meanwhile, do not expose yourself too 
much to the savage humour of those who neither value your 
life, nor the common safety of the church. I hear that you 
are quite emaciated, nor is that wonderful, considering how ab- 
sorbed you have been by a multiplicity of affairs. But though 
you must often give way to necessity, yet, unless you be care- 
ful of your health, you do not consult well for your desires, nor 
for the benefit of the church. If you listen to my advice, you 
will follow up what you have begun in such a manner as speed- 
ily to take leave of these deceitful maskers, whose honied flat- 
teries savour of the most deadly poison. I should be unwilling 
that the others were left destitute by you, but unless my desire 
of seeing you blinds me, your absence for a short time will be 
advantageous. Only you must wait for an opportunity, which 
you should willingly seize when it offers itself. Respecting the 
Confession of Augsburg, I have written most carefully to the 
Comte of Erbach, in order that he may check any evil designs. 
I have pointed out the fountain-head of the treachery, and what 
an inundation might be expected to flow from it. I admit what 
you have written to me respecting our brethren that, in fact, 
they are not at liberty, since their names have been consigned 
to the public registers. But as my brother by his arrival has 
put an end to all our strifes, there is nothing to prevent Mer- 
lin's return. I dare not press the matter with regard to De 
Coulonges, for it is impossible to obtain the Duchess's per- 
mission. And even if we had him here, the inhabitants of Bor- 
deaux have begged so eagerly to have him, that we have no 
hopes of being able to retain him, and the day before yesterday 
Chevalier was installed in his house. You know what attacks I 
had to endure from the latter. At last, I did not openly yield 
to him, but I put a constraint on myself, and kept silence. 
Before your departure, you know that we had a discussion re- 
specting his successor. Why the affair was not yet settled, you 

1561.] THEODORE BEZA. 235 

shall know at length. The senate conceives that it is freed from 
all obligation, since by the common decision of our society a 
simple discharge was asked for. But the death of our oldest 
pastor has made it necessary for us to recall Merlin. I lately 
made no mention of this motive ; yet it would have been most 
unfair for Vincent to have been abandoned by us after having 
incurred so much expense. But why should I insist on the 
private rights of one individul, and not rather plead that it is 
most infamous that the church should be defrauded of its rights? 
Moreover, I add, that it is your duty to bring along with you, or 
to send a man well versed in our language. If Merlin will bring 
any one along with him, his arrival will be doubly welcome to 
us. I entreat you, however, occupy yourselves seriously re- 
specting this matter. Among your cares, let it not be the last. 
Only take care that whoever shall come he may be a pious man, 
no pompous boaster, but one quietly disposed to endure labour. 
Respecting his knowledge of the language. Merlin will judge. 
It is not my fault if those who so eagerly desire Viret have not 
yet obtained their wish.' For the present, he has gone to Mont- 
pellier, because he thought himself unequal to support the colds 
of this country in winter. At the end of the winter, he will go 
into Gascony, and having traversed the whole region of the 
Garonne he will pass on to the Loire, whence he will advance 
as far as Normandy. I feel dissatisfied that without a cause, 
or the least colour of reason, I should be suspected by certain 
persons of entertaining jealousy, and being hurt because I had 
not been summoned to France.^ The Admiral wrote to me 
lately, just as if an apology had been necessary to appease my 
irritation. You, however, are the best witness how carefully I 

' Since his secession from Lausanne, Viret had exercised the ministry at Geneva, 
though already, he said, his body was reduced to such a state of debility that he could 
expect nothing except to be interred. He asked then for a leave of absence, which, 
with much regret, was granted him to go and re-establish his health in the south of 
France. From all parts calls were sent to the eloquent minister who had been one 
of the first apostles of the Reformation in Swisserland. On the 30th of December, 
the seigneurs of Geneva consented to grant him to the Church of Paris, "in hopes 
that he would produce much fruit, and that he would convert the Parliament." But 
Viret's health did not permit him to undertake this journey, and the last years of his 
apostleship were devoted to the churches of the south. 

"See page 219; note 1. 

236 THEODORE BEZA. [1561. 

shunned that office. I was much dissatisfied that when I had 
besought you at your departure not to say one word about me, 
you had not been sufficiently mindful of that duty which I 
thought was due to me. But I am afraid that something or 
other has been suggested from some other quarter, for there are 
many who judge of me from their own character. For the rest, 
as glad and sorrowful tidings are conveyed to you from all the 
provinces, I make no doubt but that you are very solicitous, as 
it is your duty, to procure relief for the brethren. The inhabi- 
tants of Auvergne are very worthy of compassion, and their 
cause ought, from its justice, to conciliate favour for them. It 
is the interest of the whole church that the Lyonese should be 
promptly relieved. At present, all over that neighbouring re- 
gion, the consciences of men are roused, as if from their lethargy. 
One would say, that they had been stung by gadflies. For 
my part, I answer that I have a fear of sudden changes. For 
why do they now, at last, begin to feel the evils to which they 
had been so long callous? Till your return, they will apply 
what remedies they can, or as you were wont jocularly to ex- 
press it, will follow the smell of their own trail, but if this mat- 
ter is to depend on us, they will quickly lose the scent. 

Farewell, most excellent brother, along with M. Martyr and 
your other colleagues, to whom my brother and I beg to send 
our best respects. May the Lord stand by you, govern you by 
his Spirit, and keep you in safety'- under his protection. 

Yours, Charles Passelius. 

A short reply to Baudouin is now in the press, which you will 
receive next week. This was no very agreeable solace of my 
grief, nevertheless it was necessary that the criminal audacity 
of the scoundrel should be repelled. I wished, also, to have an 
indirect cut at the sloth of the tortoise. Let him enjoy his 
pleasures, provided we are at liberty to expose to his disgrace 
the deadly evils which he fosters. For this reason, it will per- 
haps be translated into French, though as yet I have not de- 

[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

156] THEODORE BEZA. 237 

DCXV.— To Theodore Beza.> 

Bliiraes the excesses committed by the Reformed — Favourable dispositions of Catherine 
de Medicis — Escape of the Duke of Nemours. 

Geneva, 19th November, 1561. 

Yesterday having gone out to supper after my ride I found 
the stove much heated. Your former letter was put into my 
hands at my first entrance, and as I was wholly absorbed in the 
perusal of it, I did not remark that the vapour had affected my 
brain. For though the food kept down the sneezing, yet after 
my return home I felt my complaint aggravated. A short time 
after I received your second letter. You will see what I have 
written to Salignac. When you have read over the contents of 
the letter, you may suppress it or have it delivered to him just 
as you shall judge most proper. I have not thought fit to treat 
too gently a man whose sluggishness by the long lapse of time 
has degenerated into a lethargy. Would that now at least he 
may wake up, and by his activity study to efface the disgrace 
of his former indolence. I have touched upon the affair of the 
Bishop of Troyes in this matter as you desired.^ Y'^ou will 

' The Colloquy of Poissy, though without any results, everywhere increased the 
aradacity of the Reformed, and people saw the number of their churches multiplied. 
In a great many localities the mass was abolished, and the temples till then conse- 
crated to the Catholic worship were invaded by the new worship. These acts of vio- 
lence which the ministers could not prevent, and which were blamed by Calvin, Viret, 
and Theodore Beza, gave rise to severe ordinances on the part of the king. On the 
3d of November the Reformed were enjoined to restore the edifices of which they had 
taken forcible possession, and thanks to the energetic exhortations of their pastors, 
this ordinance was almost everywhere scrupulously obeyed. The part which Calvin 
played on this occasion was conformable to the spirit of prudence and moderation of 
which he had given so many proofs in the direction of the French churches. He 
might well render to himself this testimony in a letter to Farel : "In writing to Beza 
I have discharged my duty. If the king's council held the seizure of the churches to 
be an odious act, it was also one which I never could approve of till something should 
be definitively decided, which I trust will be done in a short time." (28lh Decern- 
ber, 1561.) 

* John Caraccioli, Bishop of Troyes, was in the number of the Prelates, who re- 
nouncing their benefices made public profession of the gospel. The Reformed Church 
of Troyes owed to him its origin and its first progress. 

238 THEODORE BEZA. [1561. 

pardon my brevity, however, whicli was forced upon me on the 
present occasion, though indeed I am moreover naturally dis- 
posed to it. Add to that, my desire on this subject to preserve 
a tone of the greatest moderation, lest I should seem to be im- 
posing conditions on the vanquished. What you write to me re- 
specting the preposterous zeal of our brethren is exceedingly 
true, and yet no method of moderating it occurs to me. Every- 
where I proclaim to them, because they do not listen to salutary 
advice, that if I were a judge I should punish not less severely 
these furious attacks than the king does by his edicts. Nothing 
can be more equitable than the letter you have obtained. 
Others, by their intemperate conduct, will quite ruin the effects 
of so great a benefit. We must persist, however, since God has 
so willed that we should be debtors to fools. Since the time I 
have been informed by your letter that the assembling of a new 
conference has been decided upon, you have learned that we 
have changed our purpose respecting your return. There is an 
absolute necessity for your remaining, unless we wished to be- 
tray and ruin the cause, which has now reached its most critical 
point. I am especially delighted to hear that the queen wishes 
to go through with the measure, because I think I am entitled 
to conclude from that, that she is not acting craftily. If never- 
'theless we should receive some apology for your delay, it will 
come very seasonably to allay fears and doubts. For you cannot 
imagine with how much anxiety the council is perplexed, since 
they conceive that it is scarcely possible that you shall ever be 
restored to them. You will ascribe their silence for the time 
past to me, because I had taken that task on myself. The 
trafficker who wanted to impose his German wares on us, has 
had the reward of his perfidy.^ But what surprises me is that 
he had so shaken off all modesty as not at least to dissemble a 
little. If Hotman is to be believed, Boquin entirely disagrees 
with Baudouin. I congratulate our friend Normandie on his 
having been so graciously received at court. God grant it be 
not a mere courtier-like reception. But I hope the best, be- 
cause I fancy that those who have spontaneously promised to 
interpose their good offices are speaking seriously. 

" Alluding to Vergerio, p. 214. 

1561.] SALIGNAC. 


Farewell, most excellent and well beloved brother. May the 
Lord always stand by you,, govern you, and preserve you in 
safety. All our brethren fondly salute you. Bourgoin has 
forced us by his imprudence to dismiss him. I suppose it is 
known in your parts that the Duke of Nemours ' has fled to his 
own nest. The Prefect of Sex was on the point of laying hands 
on him as he passed incognito. Escaping from his clutches, he 
arrived by night at Chancy. There he with much trepidation 
made enquiries whether his attendants were in the Genevese or 
the Bernese territory. Having procured a guide, they set out 
for the village of L'Ecluse, where of twelve horses they left three 
half dead with fatigue. Best respects to Gallup and whatever 
others you may think proper. Consult your health, I entreat 
you, and do not suffer yourself to be overwhelmed by harassing 
labours, for it is not without sorrow that I learn that you are 
worn to a shadow. Again, farewell. — Yours, 

Charles Passelius. 

[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.\ 

DCXVL— To Salignac.=^ 

Congratulations and encouragements. 

Geneva, l^th Novemler, 1561. 

If I write to you by the hand of another, most accomplished 
sir and venerable brother in Christ, my letter will not be the less 

' Jacques de Savoy, Duke of Nemours, who had been actively mixed up with all the 
intrigues of Emmanuel Philibert, and the Catholic party against Geneva. 

" Among the doctors commissioned to maintain the cause ti the Romish Church in 
the private conferences which followed the Colloquy of Poissy, may be noticed a 
reforming Prelate, Monluc, Bishop of Valence, and a theologian secretly converted to 
the Reformed creed. It was the Doctor Salignac. Informed of his sentiments by 
Beza, Calvin hastened to address to him a letter of fraternal encouragement, Salignac 
was touched by it, as we have a proof in his answer to Calvin: "I am a soldier of 
Christ, of whom I shall never feel ashamed, and for who.«e decrees I would not hesitate 
to lay down my life ; and that I shall always reckon my highest glory and prefer it 
to every triumph." Notwithstanding the energy of this language, Salignac does not 
appear to have publicly detached himself from the church whose errors he recognized, 
and is to be classed among that numerous category of pious but timid men, who 

240 SALIGNAC. [1561. 

valued by you, I imagine on that account, "when you shall see 
that it was dictated by the most intimate sentiments of my heart. 
And certainly so it is : nor should I ever have ventured to deal 
so familiarly with you, unless the love I entertain for you, and 
the care for your salvation arising from that feeling which 
renders me not only solicitous but anxious also, as often as I 
meditate on your state had given me confidence, I remember 
that you are one of those whom thirty years ago God deemed 
worthy of the light of his gospel. No vulgar honour this, to be 
reckoned among the first fruits of those who have received a 
pure doctrine and a remarkable knowledge of the Holy Scrip- 
tures. But how unworthily that incomparable treasure has been 
buried which God had confided to you, I prefer that you should 
yourself judge, rather than wait till you must give an account 
before your heavenly Judge of your indolence. But why do I 
say indolence? For so many illustrious gifts have not only lain 
hid without producing any fruit, but smothered by corruptions, 
have been idled away, to the disgrace and dishonour of the pure 

Now though the integrity and purity of your private life has 
been praiseworthy, you are nevertheless aware, and pious and 
courageous men have seen, not withgut the deepest sorrow, that 
the ungodly and the wicked have triumphed over you, as often 
as, restrained by fear, you have held your peace. Too long a 
time has elapsed, in which that bondage, not less miserable than 
shameful, has stifled the vigour of your mind. Grant that some 
indulgence is due to a common evil, because, everywhere sur- 
rounded by terrors, there were few who dared to profess them- 
selves undisguisedly the disciples of Christ. Now, however, that 
a better condition has suddenly burst upon the sons of God, so 
that their freedom is exempt from perils, I am forced to give 
utterance to my thoughts. How long, I pray you, will you be 
pleased voluntarily to defraud Christ of his rights by your ter- 
giversation? Hitherto God has indulgently spared you; while 
by your hesitation you choked the light of a right understanding 
within you, he has not permitted it to be altogether extinguished. 

thought it possible to conciliate the adoption of purer opinions with the outward pro- 
fession of the Romish worship. 

1561.] SALIGNAC. 2'11 

But I beseech you by this indulgence by which he has borne 
with you until this day, in which he has assembled so many 
thousands under his banner, that these may stir you up to a like 
alacrity of zeal, and that you may diligently weigh in your own 
mind, how precious a sacrifice to God is the pure confession of 
God, and that in fine the residue of your life, consecrated with 
single-mindedness to Christ, may compensate for the dilatoriness 
of times past. Nothing indeed could give me greater pleasure 
than to hear that having thrown aside all faint-heartedness and 
vanquished all timidity, you had publicly and professedly given 
in your name as a follower of Christ. I do not ask, however, 
that you should give me this assurance privately, but that you 
should comfort all the churches which God has so marvellously 
raised up in France, which certainly will congratulate both 
themselves and you, if, abandoning the camp of the enemy, you 
betake yourself to the fold of Christ. Nor is the number small 
of those who are still vacillating, who will forthwith prepare to 
imitate your example. And if you prudently ponder how many 
will be swayed by you, how many have their eyes fixed upon 
you, you will easily recognize that, if the lukewarmness of 
others is excusable, it is utterly impossible to pardon your slug- 
gishness. Perhaps my letter may find you already sufficiently 
animated, so that my exhortation will be superfluous. I was un- 
willing however to fail in my duty. 

Farewell, most excellent and highly respected sir. May the 
Lord govern you by his Spirit, furnish you with fortitude, and 
preserve you in safety. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Calvin's Lat. corrcs])., Opera, ix. p. 163.] 

242 THEODORE BEZA. [1561. 

DCXYIL— To Theodore Beza.i 

Journey of Theodore Beza's wife to France — Difficult situation of the Academy of 
Geneva — Sending off of new ministers. — The Duke *)f Longueville, and the Duke 
of Nemours — Divers salutations. 

Geneva, 31st N^ovember, 1561. 

As I am uncertain whether my letters may find you at court 
before your departure for your father's, I shall write to you 
more briefly. Your wife commenced her journey on Sunday. 
It is by no means desirable that she should be left at your 
father's, or make too long a stay at Paris. She herself, too, 
wishes to leave your city speedily. She would willingly remain 
at Paris, perhaps. But it will be better, believe me, that she 
should be sent back on the first occasion, and the time will be 
very convenient in the month of March. It is your interest, 
also, when you return, to be free from all impediments, because 
the passage through Burgundy will not be so safe that you 
shall not be obliged to guard against ambush. Your last letter 
but one, as it gave us great hopes, was very agreeable to me. 
From your last, also, I derived no small satisfaction, except 
that it renewed my sorrow for the complaints I had made, which 
were a cause of grief or anxiety to you. I repented of it almost 
immediately afterwards, but the letter was gone. I could not 
recall it. No'w I am still more displeased with myself for hav- 
ing offended you. There is no occasion, however, that you 
should make excuses for not having the interests of our Aca- 
demy at heart, since you cannot be more convinced of that fact 
than we are ourselves. I, too, am sorry that we have been de- 
ceived once, but I am particularly angry with myself for having 
knowingly and willingly fallen into the trap. For the present 
moment, he seems to have made up his mind to stay with us, but 

' In addition to the cares for the important interests of which he was the represen- 
tative, Theodore Beza was occupied with domestic anxieties. He was about to visit 
his aged father, whom he had left at Vezclay in Burgundy, in order to present to him 
his young wife, Claudine Denosse, who had been the companion of his voluntary exile 
at Geneva. This introduction, delayed till then by religious differences, was not to 
take place without some painful circumstances, as Beza himself testifies in his un- 
edited correspondence with Calvin (1561, 1562) ^assjm. 

1561.] THEODORE BEZA. 243 

we are resolved not to trust him, for he has neither laid aside 
his project about going away, nor does he make any promise 
about his return. But of the character and acts of the man 
we shall talk more fully when you come. It will not be amiss, 
however, if by the aid of Mercer, we could procure a successor 
for him. For even should he whom we had counted on put off 
his departure, it will be convenient for us to have another person 
on account of Sanraver's complaint, which, though the physi- 
cians pronounced it not to be mortal, will, nevertheless, be lin- 
gering, as I think. It will give us pleasure if the person who 
is to succeed to Baduel could be here as soon as possible. 1 
have handed to Barnouin a copy of the letter, of which he is the 
bearer, that he may deliver this copy to you. I have also caused 
to be copied out the reply I have made to Baudouin, that you 
may con it over at leisure, and that you may not quite lose 
your time, since you will be a little more disengaged while you 
remain at your father's. The Parisians, who had been sent to 
fetch M. de Passy, came here. At their request, I shall exhort 
the inhabitants of Issoudun to let him go. He himself, as I 
hear, will comply with my advice. For they have a letter by 
which Viret is sent for, and the senate has granted him permis- 
sion to pass through Paris, on condition, however, that he be 
back by summer.^ The inhabitants of Tours stand up stoutly 
for detaining M. de Spina,^ who they pretend was definitely 
assigned to them, when I was asked to allow him to go to them. 
Certainly, the Parisians seem too greedy. As I am about to 
close my letter, I return to yourself. You act wisely, indeed, 
in voluntarily dismissing all foreign deliberations, in order to 
embrace with both arms the duties which more properly belong 
to our ministry. I would not have you abstain altogether, how- 
ever, from other cares. You should still watch, not only what 
is publicly going on, but even the more secret counsels should 
not escape your observation. For it is your province not only 
to correct abuses where any thing has been done amiss, but 

' See page 235, note. 

"Jean de I'Epine, a distinguished divine, who had quitted the cloister to join the 
ranks of the Reformed, whose doctrines he maintained at the Colloquy of Puissy, 
He was also called Acanthius, Crottet. Chronique Prolcstante, p. 252. 

244 THEODOEE BEZA. [1561. 

also to guard against the occurrence of evils. When you assert 
that you will always belong to our society, this is exactly the 
opinion which the senate entertains of your dispositions, nor 
did your brethren suspect any thing unfriendly on your part, 
but they were afraid you might not be at liberty to dispose of 
yourself. When your letter, then, was communicated to them, 
they were exceedingly delighted, just as if they had received 
some new piece of intelligence. Indeed, till I see you here, I 
shall seem, I know not how, in a certain fashion abandoned. 

Farewell, most worthy and excellent brother. Our colleagues 
and friends most affectionately salute you ; among others, the 
Marquis de Vico, who is still suffering from the third attack of 
a quartan ague. He is now, however, out of danger, we trust. 
The Duke of Longueville, who did not dare to visit us, till he 
had been to Berne to renew the league, writes to us that we 
may expect him here very soon. He and his mother wish to 
take me to Neuchatel in the beginning of February, that I may 
be present at the synod. I shall hardly escape, because the 
senate makes no opposition. The Duke of Nemours feigns to 
be afraid. The gates of the city are carefully guarded. The 
Duke of Savoy lately ordered all his carriages and wagons to 
be conveyed to Chambery. Why all this stir we know not. 
Again and again, farewell, most worthy brother. May the 
Lord always stand by you, govern and protect you, and bless 
your labours. Our senate salutes you. I do not write to our 
friend Normandie, because I have nothing new to communicate 
to him. I wish he could be sent back to us earlier than what 
I conclude from your letter. If, in the mean time, he can set- 
tle the business which concerns his paternal inheritance, he will 
consult properly and advantageously for himself.' I had almost 
forgotten one thing. Canaye, having laid aside all thoughts of 
his mission, has resolved to stay among us till he again occupy 
himself with polite literature, between which and him there had 
been a long divorce. He will send to Viret another in his stead. 

' See vol. ii., p. 21 9, note 2. Availing himself of the tolerating edicts which signa- 
lized the first years of the reign of Charles IX., Laurence de Normandie took a jour- 
ney into France, found a favourable welcome at court, and obtained restitution of a 
part of his property. — Xonnandiu) Calvino, Sept., 1561. (MSS. of Gotha.) 


This is the brevity of which I had spoken to jou in the begin- 
ning of my letter. 

Yours, Charles Passelius. 

[Lat. Orig. Autog. — Library of Gotlia. Vol. 405, p. 206.] 

DCXVIII. — To THE Queen of Navarre.' 

Regret for the prolonged absence of Beza — Writing against Baudouin — Letter to the 
Queen of Navarre, mother of Jane d'Albret. 

Geneva, 24<A December, 1561. 

Madame : — It is not without great regret that we are still to 
be deprived for some time of the presence of our brother, M. 
Beza f for the church incurs a loss by it, and the students, who 
are here for the purpose of following a course of theology, have 
their studies retarded, inasmuch as I cannot satisfy all the de- 
mands that are made on my time. But since there is no help 
for that, I will pray God that the fruits which will accrue from 
his labours for the advancement of the reign of Jesus Christ, 
may be to us as a reward to gladden us, or, at least, in part to 
mitigate our distress.^ In the mean time, we have wherewith- 
all to bless God for having wrought so eiBcaciously in you, Ma- 
dame, and caused you to surmount every thing that might have 
turned you aside from the right path. It were much to be 
wished that the king, your husband; would, once for all, form 
a firm resolution not to swim any longer between two cur- 

' Confirmed in the creed of the Reformed, by Theodore Beza, the Queen of Navarre 
employed her influence at court to prepare the way for the tolerating administration 
ushered in by the edict of January. 

" Detained at St. Germain by the instant entreaties of the Queen of Navarre, Beza 
wrote to Calvin the 25th November : — " By the grace of God, we have begun to found 
a church here, and God aiding we shall celebrate, next Sabbath, the sacrament of the 
Lord's supper. I saluted, in your name, as you ordered me, the Queen of Navarre, 
the Prince of Conde, Possidonius, and their wives, which they took in very good part. 
She (I mean the Queen of Navarre) ceased not to ask me for a minister, and more- 
over declares that she will not suffer me to quit her." — Theodore Beza to Calvin, 
(Library of Geneva, vol. 117.) 

3 Theodore Boza quitted France definitively to return to Geneva, only in April, 1563, 
after the first civil war, and the conclusion of the peace of Amboise. 


rents. I know, Madame, how mucli you are labouring to bring 
that about. But I entreat you, if you do not succeed so 
soon as Ave could wish, that the delay do not exhaust your pa- 
tience, nor cool your zeal. For the rest, Madame, whatever 
happen, you know how carefully we should beware of withdraw- 
ing ourselves from God to gratify mortal creatures, which ought 
to give you courage zealously to persevere, aiming at the end 
which is proposed to you, whatever winds blow from opposite 
directions. I have also to apprize you, Madame, of one thing 
which I could gladly dispense with, were I at liberty to do so. 
But I fancy that having heard the motive Avhich obliges me, 
you will easily excuse me for what I have done. There is a cer- 
tain boor whom the king, your husband, has appointed to be 
the tutor of his natural son,^ who, being an apostate and a trai- 
tor to religion,^ has vomited out in a printed book all the abuse 
he could invent against me.^ Now, besides pluming himself on 
the name of your husband, not doing him too much honour by 
that, he makes also a buckler against me of the late queen, 
your mother, because for some time she was displeased that I 
had so sharply confounded the sect of the Libertines. At that 
time, I answered her on the subject, and I send you, Madame, 
a copy of the letter written by the hand of our brother Des 
Gallars, fourteen years ago, in order that you may judge of the 
merits of the cause.* I have no intention to animate you against 

' " Magister de son hastard." 

" Allusion to Francis Baudouin. As a reward for his efforts to bring about a recon- 
ciliation between the Catholics and Protestants, ho had been appointed tutor of Charles 
de Bourbon, the natural son of the King of Navarre, with a salary of twelve hun- 
dred livres. 

^ The origin of this controversy, in which the precepts of charity were but little 
observed by either party, was the publication of Cassander's book, De officio pii viri 
in hoc religionis dissidio (of the duty of a pious man in these religious dissensions) 
of which Baudouin superintended the printing. It was the manifesto of the trim- 
mers (moyenneurs) in religious matters. Calvin replied to it in one of the most viru- 
lent of his treatises : — Reply to a certain donble-dealing go-between, who, under pre- 
text of pacification, has been intriguing to cut short the course of the gospel in France. 
1561, in 8vo., translated into French in the Recueil des Opuscules, p. 1885. The re- 
ply of Baudouin, full of abuse against the Reformer, provoked a second reply from 
Calvin: — Ansuier to Baudouin's scurrilous railings; and the contest continued by 
Theodore wandered still farther from the ways of moderation, from which it had de- 
viated from the beginning. 

* It is the letter to the Queen of Navarre, vol. i., p. 453. This letter, as Beza re- 


him. You will act as God shall direct you. But I cannot for- 
bear, Madame, from begging you to take steps to prevent him 
from bringing into the question the name of the said lady, your 
mother, lest I should be forced, in maintaining the cause of God, 
to say more than I should wish. The malice and artifice of 
these beggarly wretches is to allege, on false pretexts, the names 
of princes, in order to shut the mouths of God's servants under 
such a screen — the greater reason why princes should make a 
point of stopping their mouths. 

Whereupon, Madame, having very humbly commended my- 
self to your indulgent favour, I will supplicate the heavenly 
Father to keep you under his protection always, to govern you 
by his Spirit, and increase your majesty in all good. 

Your very humble servant, 

Charles D'Espeville. 

[Fr. 3Imufe Autog. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCXIX.— To THE King of Navarre.' 

Severe judgment respecting the conduct of this prince, a renegade from the Reformed 


Geneva, 24^^ Becemler, 1561. 

Sire : — The fear we have of being importunate prevents us 
from writing to you as often as we should do, and as possibly 

lates, was approved of by Jane d'Albret :— " When I had shown her the copy of the 
letter which I now send back to you, there was no need, she said, for any apology, 
for I would by no means excuse my mother's fault, and I am perfectly well acquainted 
with the whole affair. She read the letter over, nevertheless, and approved of it." 
Beza to Calvin, 6th January, 1562. (Library of Geneva, vol. 117.) 

' Without the date of the month. Written in December, 1561, delivered to the king 
in January, 1562, which is proved by the following passage of a letter of Calvin to 
Beza : "If you think fit, you will see that this letter be delivered to the King of 
Navarre. If it give offence, you will take the blame on yourself." 

Circumstances imposed on the Reformer imperious duties with respect to the King 
of Navarre. Betrayed by his servants, and deceived by the Guises, this prince float- 
ing between the two parties had allowed himself to be seduced by the hope of espousing 
the Queen of Scotland, and obtaining Sardinia in exchange for Spanish Navarre. 
One of his confidential followers the Sire d'Escars had gone to convey on his part 
terms of submission to the court of Rome—" Apprised of that, Theodore Beza, who 

248 THE KING OF NAVARRE. [1561. 

miglit be advantageous to you. But though we necessarily felt 
some reluctance in addressing you, yet the letters of the queen 
your consort have not only emboldened us, but also deprived us 
of every excuse for delaying any longer to do so. For as God 
has sensibly touched her heai-t, not content with holding on and 
marching in the right path to which she has been called, she 
has exhorted us, and that too most affectionately, to do all that 
lay in our power to increase in you the courage and magnanimity 
which you have so much need to display. As her desire is 
laudable, so it ought to animate the zeal of us all; and as you 
are her chief, Sire, you ought to set her an example, that she 
may thereby be still more ardent for the glory of God, when in 
so holy a matter she shall have it in ker power to act conform- 
ably to your views. And in fact you have great reason to re- 
joice and bless God for having so disposed her mind, and that 
whereas formerly she did not co-operate with you, she now strives 
directly to second you as her duty demands. Still, Sire, inas- 
much as she is firmly resolved to acquit herself of all that she 
is in arrears to God and compensate for the defects of the 
past, so it behoves you to make haste, in order that you may 
always march before her in your order and degree. For it is 
the first of all your titles of pre-eminence to bear yourself with 
such courage, that she who desires to please you may have double 
cause of rejoicing, when in submitting to you, she at the same 
time glorifies God. And even should none of these motives 
exist, Sire, still you would not be exempted from the duty you 
owe to God. But such advantages certainly deserve to be 
turned to account in urging you to vigorous action, as they leave 
you without excuse, if you proceed with coldness and indifference. 
Now you will be pleased to pardon us. Sire, if we cannot dis- 
semble that hitherto you have been far from acquitting yourself 

had ready access to him, did not fail to make to him excellent and warm remon- 
strances on the subject, to which the king replied, that he did not advance farther 
than it was easy for him to extricate himself. . ." Hist. Eccl. vol. i. p. 688. In a 
letter written with great moderation and energy, he endeavoured to enlighten the 
king. All was to no purpose : " He broke," says Varillas, " with all his friends. He 
put himself at the head of the Catholic party, and all that the tears of his wife could 
obtain from him, was a permission to retire to her principality of Bearn, and live in 
her Culvinistic fashion. 

1561.] THE KING OF NAVARRE. 249 

of what God is so justly entitled to require of you. Not that 
we do not take into account, Sire, the obstacles by which you 
are beset on all hands, but when you reflect that we are God's 
attorneys, as it were, you will, in your piety, permit us not 
to flatter you while we are maintaining his rights. Especially 
we entreat you to note what is written in psalm cxix., in which 
the prophet prays God not to take the word of truth utterly out 
of his mouth. There in the first place he is not ashamed to 
confess that he has neither shown himself so sincere, nor so en- 
tirely given up as he should have been, to maintaining the glory 
of God, and yet he protests in the same psalm that he has been 
as it were the preacher of the law before kings and princes. 
But well knowing that in a cause so worthy and precious, he 
who has done his best is still a debtor, he is displeased with his 
own weakness, in order that he may have satisfaction when he 
shall have profited more. Inasmuch as he had not been sufii- 
ciently zealous in maintaining God's quarrel for a time, he seeks 
the remedy where we may find it, that is, in being fortified by 
the power of the Holy Spirit. But at any rate, he falls not 
asleep in his coldness, but cuts short every cause of delay, as if 
he could never arrive soon enough at the end to which he is 
aspiring. That is the reason why he asks of God not to suffer 
him to remain in this state of weakness in which he feels him- 
self to be. 

Now as by the word mouth he shows that faith ought not to 
be buried, but that it ought to display itself before men, it 
cannot be doubted but that he means here to speak of the ex- 
terior service of God. Now, Sire, it is for you to consider 
whether you have been, we do not say as free as was requisite 
in bearing testimony to our faith, but Avhether you have even 
been half way in such a duty. It is then time to run lest the 
night surprise you. In general how far have you been. Sire, 
from maintaining the quarrel of Jesus Christ according to your 
rank and dignity, which required more of you than of private 
persons? If any man in a poor and humble condition appears 
to consent to having the name of God blasphemed, religion dis- 
graced, and the poor church trodden under foot, he cannot avoid 
condemning himself of not having the word of truth in his 

250 THE KING OF NAVAERE. [1561. 

mouth. What then shall we say of you, Sire, raised to such 
dignity, honour, and authority, if not to flatter you, you "vvere 
called to give an account to Him from whom you hold all ? 

It would also be cowardice in us to pass over in silence the 
particular act which in the eyes of great and small has produced 
so much scandal. We speak of that unfortunate speech made 
at Rome on your part, Sire, which has caused to blush, weep, and 
groan, and almost burst with anger, all persons justly zealous 
either for the glory of God or the good reputation of your 
majesty. It is certain. Sire, that you cannot labour too hard, 
to follow manfully a directly opposite course, till once a fault 
of such a character be repaired both before God and men. We 
speak not of the man who was employed to pronounce the dis- 
course, because no honest man could have been found who would 
have undertaken such an office. But it seems that he and your 
enemies wished to make a triumph of the reprobation you have 
incurred by printing an account of that disgraceful transaction, 
which was already but too well known. We see perfectly well, 
Sire, how you were induced to act so; but whether the per- 
plexities by which you were then surrounded, caused you to yield 
in spite of your wishes, or you were swayed by considerations 
of personal safety to defeat the intrigues of your enemies, and 
break the nets which were spread for you, or whether you were 
lured by the hope of recovering for the future what belongs to 
you, — none of all these considerations will be admitted in the 
presence of God to absolve you. And in fact, what should we 
say if you were told that the whole world was to be bestowed on 
you, provided you fell down and worshipped him who is the 
principle of evil? You will pardon the necessity, Sire, which 
constrains us to speak thus, inasmuch as we are concerned for 
your salvation, and also for a thing still more worthy and pre- 
cious, namely, the glory of God and the advancement of the 
reign of Jesus Christ, in which consists the salvation of you and 
of the whole world. Not, Sire, when we entreat you henceforth 
to bear yourself more manfully in making an upright and pure 
profession of true Christianity, that we do not take into account 
the opposition and alarms which you will have forthwith to 
struggle with. At the very least you will have to count on an 

lo61.] THE KING OF NAVARRE. 251 

interdict. But nothing can be more reasonable than that to 
serve Him to whom all is due, nothing should be spared. And 
though you should never be able to decide upon marching where 
God calls you. till you have learned to rely for everything on 
his promises, it is nevertheless true that to relieve you he holds 
out to you a helping hand in many ways. For if on the one 
hand there are threats and terrors, there are also good and 
suitable remedies, which will promptly present themselves when 
you shall be pleased to accept them. And even if every door 
should be shut against you, Sire, still it is your duty in this 
circumstance to apply to yourself what David says: God enables 
his children to leap over the highest walls. But when he so far 
supports you as to give you an opening, fail not, we pray you, 
Sire, to enter. Seize the favourable opportunity of which even 
the ungodly are wont to say that we should not allow it to 
escape. But though the affairs of this world are often con- 
ducted by long and tortuous ways, God will have us advance 
in a more straight-forward manner in maintaining his quarrel, so 
that the temporising method which you have hitherto followed, 
will never be found good at his tribunal. 

We do not mean by this to urge you to precipitate action. 
Nay, thei'e is an inconsiderate zeal in others which we do not 
approve of, and which we would fain moderate if it were in our 
power. But since we cannot, we entreat your majesty to be 
content to support it. What is more, we are of opinion that 
God, to correct the tardiness of the great, has caused the little 
ones of this world to put themselves so prominently forward 
that it would be difficult now to make them give ground. Now 
if it has pleased him so to ivorh in them, the more the ungodly 
shall strive to resist, the more should you be whetted on. Sire, 
to put to use the weak instruments by which at last will be made 
apparent the power of the Holy Spirit. It is true that we had 
endeavoured to persuade them to be satisfied with preaching in 
secret in their own houses. Hearing that a contrary course has 
been pursued, we have been much surprised, but we cannot fail 
to conclude that God has wished to give free scope to^his word 
without the aid of man, in order that the council may not think 
it so extraordinary to grant permission and toleration to what 

252 M. DE COLONGES. [1562. 

is already established. Be that as it may, Sire, according as 
you shall be faithful to the end, and as perfectly disposed as 
were to be desired to procure the prosperity and repose of the 
king and the good of the country of France, we entreat you also 
with no less zeal and ardent affection to strive that God be 
glorified, by resisting openly all superstition and idolatry, show- 
ing yourself at the same time the protector of the poor church, 
until she shall no longer be so cruelly oppressed. For though 
the Devil and the world vent all their rage, the liberty which 
the faithful shall have of serving txod, will procure from him 
this blessing, that the king will peaceably rule all his subjects, 
and you will be preserved in your rank, both to govern his 
territory as chief of his council and also to reign in your own. 

Sire, having humbly commended ourselves to the indulgent 
favour of your majesty, we will supplicate our merciful Father 
to have you in his keeping, to strengthen you with invincible 
courage, to bestow on you prudence and address in the manage- 
ment of all afiairs, and increase you more and more in his 
grace. ^ 

Your humble servants, 

John Calvin, Theodore Beza. 
[Fr. Copy, in the hand of Th. Beza. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

Answer to three questions. 

Geneva, IQth January, 1562 

Monsieur and well-belovbd Brother : — I should most 
probably have been more expeditious in giving you an answer 
respecting the three points about Avhich you had asked my opi- 

' The manuscript bears 1562, the date of the presentation of this letter to the King 
of Navarre — earlj' in January. 

'* For title: Answer to three questions. Francis de Morel, Sieur de Colonges, 
minister of Geneva and of Paris. See p. 38. He presided in 1.559 in the first synod 
of the Reformed churches of France, and was present at the Colloquy of Poissy. He 
was at this time minister of the Duchess of Ferrara. 

1562,] M. DE COLONGES. 253 

nion, had I not felt some scruples in touching on so delicate a 
subject as that of ministers lending money upon interest. For 
to condemn absolutely such a manner of lending would be an 
instance of too great rigour, and might provoke many replies. 
In fact, I dare not assert that it is not lawful. But on the 
other hand, when I consider to how many calumnies and scan- 
dals such a practice may lead, and also that many persons are 
apt to pass the bounds of moderation in following it, and think 
themselves warranted to make such profits as may be deemed 
illicit, I willingly abstain from giving any answer to this ques- 
tion. The safest and most expedient conduct would be not to 
engage in such practices or contracts, and it is not without rea- 
son that Jeremiah protests that the contestations in which he 
was involved arose neither from borrowing nor lending. Thus, 
when a minister shall dispense with such gains, he will act most 
wisely. But as this practice is more supportable than pursuing 
mercantile speculations, or conducting any traffic by which he 
might be diverted from his functions, I see no reason why the 
thing should be condemned in general. Nevertheless, I could 
wish that so much moderation were observed that people should 
not desire to derive a certain profit from it, but should content 
themselves with lending their money to some merchant, a man 
of integrity, and trust to his good faith and loyalty for making 
an equitable gain out of it, when God should cause his industry 
to thrive. 

With regard to taking an oath to the consistory, it is proper 
to proceed in that matter with prudence, in order to guard, 
against detraction and murmurs. It is lawful to summon per- 
sons and adjure them, setting before their eyes the presence of 
God and his judgment, so much the rather that he presides over 
such a society. But we must carefully beware of every forma- 
lity which might imply a kind of jurisdiction, or any thing that 
bore the semblance of it. 

Respecting the last point, it appears to me that no objection 
can be made to admitting into the consistory officers of justice 
and chiefs of police, provided they sit in it in the capacity of 
magistrates. But always let there be a due distinction ob- 
served between the two functions and conditions. To 'exclude 

254 M. DB PASSY. [1562. 

persons that belong to the civil government from all superin- 
tendence in the spiritual administration, seems to me contrary 
to reason. What is essential is that when fitting persons shall 
have been elected to such an office, there should be no blending 
of their functions, nor the power of the sword confounded with 
what ought to be carefully kept distinct from it. 

You have here an abstract of what God has enabled me to 
communicate to you respecting the three questions, and my 
opinion is corroborated by that of all our brethren. For I 
thought right to adhere to their sentiments, in order that the 
decision should not proceed from me alone. Whereupon, . . . 

[Fr. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 145.] 

DCXXI.— To M. DE Passy.i 

He urges him to accept the functions of an evangelical minister. 

Geneta, 24«A January, 1562. 

Monsieur and honoured Brother : — When I wrote to you 
not long ago on the part of the society, and at the request of 
the Church of Paris, I begged you to consider, according to 
your prudence, what should be most expedient, as you can best 
judge by your experience of the past time, and also from your 
greater proximity to the place.^ Before receiving an answer, I 

' Jacques Paul Spifame, Seigneur de Passy, Bishop of Nevers, voluntarily resigned 
his bishopric to withdraw, in 1559, to Geneva. He was there made a burgess and a 
minister of the city; became, in 1561, pastor of the Church of Issoudun, and was 
employed by the Prince of Cond6 on several important missions in Germany. CsUed 
to the court of the Queen of Navarre, he incurred the blame of that princess by incon- 
siderate acts which caused the sincerity of his convictions to be suspected at Geneva. 
His past life was subjected to a severe scrutiny. This brought to light disorders 
which Spifame had endeavoured to conceal by the fabrication of a false contract of 
marriage. Imprisoned as an adulterer, he confessed his guilt, and in vain solicited 
the indulgence of his judges, who, from an excess of rigour, condemned him to death. 
He died on the scaffold, the 2:W March, 1566, "with a deep repentance for his faults, 
which he testified by a good exhortation which he delivered to the people." . . . 
Spon. Geneva, vol. ii., p. 112; note 2, de Gautier; et Seuebier, Hiat. Litt., 
vol. i., p. ^84. 

* Spifame was then minister at Issoudun. 

1562.] M. DE PASSY. 255 

am solicited by Monseigneur, the Comte d'Eu, and the Church 
of Nevers, to pray, exhort, summon, and, if need be, adjure 
you to go and acquit yourself of your duty towards that poor 
people to whom you are indebted, and, above all, to compensate 
for the defects of the time past, by showing that if you were 
then a bishop so far as the title is concerned, you will now be 
so in reality.^ The whole of our society have found this claim 
so just that I must entreat and beseech you, in the name of 
God, if you do not find a journey to Paris useful for the edifica- 
tion of the whole church, that you will accept this charge. We 
are well aware that in that case it will be necessary to provide 
the Church of Issoudun with some one to succeed you ; but we 
have on our part made provision for that necessity, for even 
before we had learned your intentions, we heard of a man whom 
they have presented to us, in order that if you go to them, they 
may have wherewithal to recompense the Church of Issoudun. 

Whereupon, Monsieur and honoured brother, after having 
presented to you my aff"ectionate commendations, and those of 
all our society, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have 
you in his holy keeping, to sustain you by his power, and in- 
crease you in all good, making your labours profitable for the 
advancement of his kingdom. 

Your servant and humble brother, 

John Calvin. 

Know that you are still continued a councillor. Now we are 
unwilling either to lose or to give you up. 

[Fr. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

' The Reformed of Nevers assembled for the first time the 23d of March, 1561. 
Their church was established by the minister La Planche, under the auspices of the 
Comte d'Eu and of the Marquis d'Isles, son of the Duke of Nevers, governor of the 

256 THEODORE BEZA. [1562. 

DCXXII.— To Theodore Beza.^ 

Catholic League — Recommendations of the family of Guillaume de Erie — Last words 

of that Seigneur. 

Geneva, llth February, 1662. 

Since your two melancholy letters, we are yet ignorant whe- 
ther any change for the better has taken place, and rumour has 
brought us no accounts that can diminish my anxiety. Unless 
God speedily interfere, a new opportunity will be sought for 
oppressing our cause. Of your first meeting^ something has got 
wind, from which I conjecture that you argued but too truly when 
you wrote that all Avould vanish in smoke. Our neighbours are in 
great trepidation ; we as yet are quietly waiting to see in what 
quarter the attack of Philip will break out, who is said to be 
gradually leading troops in no small numbers out of Spain, and 
enlisting other soldiers in Italy. I cannot yet persuade myself 
that he is preparing to wage a common war at once with the 
Pope and the Venetians. If you can fish out any news respect- 
ing these matters, it will be very advantageous for our interests 
to be made acquainted with them as early as possible. Cer- 
tainly, a matter of such moment cannot be a secret at court. 
See then that you cram your earliest letters with details of 
these preparations. We are perfectly on our guard, and God, 
I trust, will keep watch over us, so that the enemy may not 
catch us unprepared. If it is an open war that is to be made 

' At the moment in which L'H8pital endeavoured to seal by reciprocal concessions 
the reconciliation of the religious parties, the Catholic monarchs of Spain and Italy, 
confirming their alliances, were preparing to destroy his work by attacking, with arms 
in their hands, Geneva and the French churches. The massacre of Vassy, which was 
about to usher in so sadly the period of the civil wars, was but the partial realization 
of the plan traced out in the counsels of Philip II. " The audacity and effrontery 
of the enemy," wrote Beza to Calvin, "is incredible. If the edict against our opi- 
nion were known, I am fully persuaded that they would attempt all extremities. I 
know, however, that they will not effect all they desire, nor is it a new thing for us 
to suffer injustice." 

" An unseasonable controversy respecting the church and the sacraments, provoked 
by the adversaries of the Reformed, then divided the Doctors of the two religions still 
assembled at Poissy. On the one hand, Beia, Marlorat, Perucel ; on the other, Sa- 
lignac, D'Espense, Bouthelier. 

15G2.] THEODORE BEZA. 257 

on us, there will be time enough to summon auxiliaries to our 
aid. As to the new buildings adjoining to the gate, I had 
already written that their outcries were ridiculous, for no one 
there is as yet suspected by us.' You will communicate the 
contents of my letter to the Admiral, and see that you be a 
faithful advocate of the cause which I entrust to you.^ I beg 
of him to aid us with his influence and authority in obtaining 
letters patent of which I send you a model, and also a copy 
of a petition. As the brother of De Frie is not only proud and 
foolish, but also treacherous and cruel, and, in one word, per- 
fectly unprincipled, nothing will be wrung from him except by 
main force. But we are asking for nothing illicit or difiicult, 
but what has been already every where granted to a great many, 
viz., that minors be admitted to reclaim their rights. Until this 
preliminary step for the proceeding be gone through, Ave dare 
not bring an action, because we have to do with a man more 
than usually desperate. Bernant, I trust, will undertake the 
whole charge, but as much as it will be in your power, even if 
it should put you to some inconvenience, 1 entreat you with all 
the earnestness I can muster, to employ also your influence in the 
matter ; though, in truth, I forbear to express all my zeal, since 
I am sufiiciently, and more than sufiiciently aware of what you 
will do for my sake, even without being solicited. But be tho- 
roughly persuaded, nevertheless, that of all private acts of friend- 
ship you can do none that will be more grateful to me. I owe 
it to the memory of a singularly excellent friend to cherish his 
children just as if they were my own. He has deserved that 
from his incredible affection towards me, from the filial piety 
with which he cherished me, and the deference which he paid me 
up to the moment of his death ; and it would be a stain of in- 
famy on my character, if the confidence which he reposed in me 
should be disappointed. His last dying words will ever remain 
engraven on my memory, when he addressed me in presence of 

' Beza had warned Calvin to be on his guard against a soldier, named Ferrand, " and 
especially to keep a strict watch over the gates during the sermons." — Letter of the 
6th January, 1561. 

" Suillaume de Trie, at his death, had left several children stripped of their father's 
fortune, by the application of the penalty that had been pronounced against the re- 


258 THEODORE BEZA. [1562. 

his wife and children, "Here are your children, and as God 
is now taking me away, I entreat you, according as I have been 
to you a dutiful son, not to disown those that remain to you. I 
disavow them if they do not bear towards you more honour and 
obedience than towards myself. I resign to you all they owe me, 
and also all I owe to you it is their duty to acquit." I have 
thought proper to quote these expressions to you, that if you 
should encounter any obstacle from the indolence of others, you 
cease not to stimulate them, until what we have in view be ac- 

Farewell again and again, most excellent brother. We shall 
shortly know, I suppose, whether our friend M. Normandie is 
still irresolute. I thought that for the settlement of his busi- 
ness the form of separation of which I had written to you was 
sufficient, but we shall see what his next letters will announce. 
If the ties by which he is bound are inextricable, let him rather, 
in fine, burst them asunder, than that we should always be de- 
prived of him. 

Farewell, both of you, again and again. May the Lord pro- 
tect and govern you, enrich you with every blessing, and sup- 
port you even to the end with his invincible courage. Our col- 
leagues very zealously salute you. 

Yours, Charles Passelius. 

[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCXXIII.— To Theodore Beza. 

Imprudent concessions made to the Catholic prelates — Regrets and warnings of Calvin. 

Geneva, 18<A February, 1562. 

I have had no news from you since you briefly related to me 
a pleasant account of the result of the second conference.^ It 
is true, that the court being full of intrigues that are ever trans- 
piring, many rumours penetrate as far as us, and we are com- 

* See page 256, note 2. This second colloquy had no greater results than the for- 
mer, as we see by the letters of Theodore Beza to Calvin, 1562, passim. 

1562.] THEODORE BEZA. 259 

pelled to hear more things than you are aware of. This is one 
of the effects of distance that many folks among us fancy they 
know more than ocular witnesses who are on the spot. I am 
surprised that in the first colloquy you did not perceive into 
what snares you threw yourselves. The method you adopted 
always displeased me, viz., your making one-half of your cause 
repose on the testimony of antiquity. On this matter, the 
agreement between us is like that which subsists between fire 
and water. But because you committed this slip, not from error 
or want of reflection, I leave that decision free to you. The 
wound, however, which was beginning to be cicatrized is again 
evidently bleeding afresh, and compels me to profess how greatly 
I differ from you. There was a certain plausibility in opposing 
the authority of antiquity against images. But with such an 
argument, how are you to deal with the chrism in baptism, auri- 
cular confession, and the wax-tapers of Easter? But I will not 
give free scope to my reflections, lest I should appear to see 
farther than Marlorat and such persons. Meanwhile, I am 
sorry for you whom their folly has plunged deep in the mire. 
I have briefly touched upon what I conceive to be expedient in 
what concerns a council.^ After reading it you will perhaps not 
pay much attention to it, because it contains little but what is 
commonplace ; but I preferred to comply with your wishes, 
though producing nothing, to refusing what you demanded. I 
now pass on to other subjects. Our neighbours recently made 
a serious application to the senate for the purpose of warning 
your graceless Absalom to be on his guard against the immense 
forces that are now being levied against him.^ They relate a 
great many things which, I fancy, are brought to your ears 
from other quarters. On the other hand, you will learn from 
his letter what occupation BuUinger is creating for us. I did 
not venture to suppress this letter, lest the afi"air should be 
betrayed by our silence. I charge this task upon you, lest 
either party should complain that an excellent opportunity had 

' Calvin had already developed his opinion on this subject in a special memorial 
to the Reformed churches, page 158. 

' Allusion to the menaces uttered by Philip II. against the young King Charles IX., 
and his mother, on the occasion of the promulgation of the Edict of January, which 
bad appeared to the sovereign of Spain a dereliction of the Catholic faith. 


been neglected through our fastidiousness. One thing I ear- 
nestly entreat of you, (mark the emphasis of my expression,) 
it is that you give me as early an answer as possible. I have 
not many Dallers to furnish with information people who are 
half famished for want of news. Then you are well aware that 
they who are slower than snails strangely abuse our French 
hastiness. As soon as possible free me from my inquietude. 
But what, after all, if this is nothing but a little smoke got up 
to strike terror? That does not concern me, provided only you 
make haste to give me news. In such a press of business I 
wished to spare you. I could not, however, do otherwise than 
send you Sulcer's letter, a proof of his fatuity and impudence, 
which I would have you despise as it deserves. 

Farewell, most excellent and friendly brother. May the Lord 
always stand by you, sustain you by his invincible courage, and 
preserve you in safety. 

Yours, Charles Passelius. 

All your colleagues salute you very earnestly, as also the new 
syndics, and the senate. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCXXIY. — To the Duchess of Ferrara.^ 

League against the Reformation— Complaints respecting the conduct of the Duchess 

of Guise. 

Geneva, February, 1562. 

Madame: — I am delighted to have the means of writing to 
you in surety by the bearer, not that I have anything of impor- 
tance to communicate to you at this moment, but that I may 
acquit myself of my duty, and also because I fancy my letters, 
in consequence of your favourable indulgence, are not unwelcome 
to you. If they could be in any way profitable to you I should 
make an effort to let you have them more frequently. But you 
have, thank God, in your household a man every way qualified 

' Without date. Written a. short time before the massacre of Vassy, that is, in 
February, 1562. 


to exhort you and confirm you in all you stand in need of.' I 
have no news to send you that you may not learn from other 
sources, especially none that can afford you pleasure, and I dis- 
like to put you to pain, though I am compelled to disburden my 
mind, not without great regret, of a sorrow common to all the 
children of God. You know, Madame, what the enemies of the 
truth are hatching ; witness the league of the Pope with the 
King of Spain, the Venetians, and the potentates of Italy, in 
which our neighbour is included. They verily think that it is 
their duty to banish all Christianity out of the world. Now in 
the mean time, Madame de Guise is pursuing a course which can 
only lead to her own confusion if she continue in it ; for though 
she does not think so, yet it is most certain that she is seeking 
the ruin of the poor churches in France, of which God will be the 
protector in order to maintain them.^ 

Again I protest, Madame, that I would fain abstain from 
giving you uneasiness, but on the other hand I should wish that 
she were induced by your authority to moderate her passions, 
which she cannot obey as she does without making war on God. 
I tell you frankly, Madame, what everybody knows, that you 
may devise what good means can be applied to divert her from 
conspiring with those who seek for nothing but to abolish pure 
religion, and prevent her from being mixed up with intrigues of 
which the issue cannot but be unfortunate, inasmuch as they are 
directed against God. 

Madame, having very humbly commended myself to your in- 
dulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to keep 
you always under his protection, to fortify you by his power, 
and increase you in all good and prosperity. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupiiy. Vol. 102.] 

' Sd July 1561 : " A minister is accorded to the Duchess of Ferrara on condition 
that it be neither M. Calvin nor M. Beza." Eegistres du Conseil. This minister was 
Francis de Morel. 

" Anne d'Este, daughter of Renee of France and Duchess of Guise. Brought up at 
the court of Ferrara, in the Reformed faith, she was obliged to abandon it in contract- 
ing an alliance with the house of Lorraine, but she always gave proofs of a generous 
mind equally removed from the excesses of both parties. The massacre of Vassy, 
which she vainly endeavoured to prevent, caused to fall upon her the hatred and un- 
popularity attached to the name of Francis de Guise among the Protestants. 

262 BULLINGER. [1562. 


News of France — Disorders at Aix — Progress of the gospel— Negotiations with the 

court — Synod of Neuchatel. 

Geneva, 12th March, 1562. 

"When I wrote lately to our friend Blaurer I was prevented 
from doing so to you, because, before I was quite recovered from 
an attack of fever, a domestic sorrow, occasioned by the dis- 
honour of my step-daughter, compelled me to seek the privacy 
of solitude for a few days. When I was in my rustic cottage 
your letter was presented to me, with the contents of which many 
rumours from other quarters perfectly agree. We have, then, 
good reason to be afraid. But how to take measures of pre- 
caution is difficult. How great the confusion is in France, you 
will learn partly from a letter of our brother Beza, of which I 
send you a copy, and I will myself partly briefly allude to it. 
At Aix, which is the seat of the Parliament, a sedition has been 
stirred up by the Papists, that they might exclude from his 
government, the Comte of Crussol, who had been appointed to 
command there with supreme authority. But he having assem- 
bled a few companies of soldiers forced them to open their gates, 
and gave orders to have some of them hanged. A part of the 
faction which had found means to escape still keeps possession 
of a neighbouring city, which is tolerably well fortified. But 
want of provisions will ere long force them to a surrender, for 
hitherto they have spread themselves up and down the country 
like men on a chess-board. The Parliament itself is pronouncing 
severe sentences on the rebels, although many of the judges 
themselves are implicated in the same crime. They are spared 

'In a letter written to Dr. George Tanner, the 10th March, 1562, Calvin thus de- 
picted the state of France at this period. " I dare scarcely allude to the affairs of 
France, they are in such disorder and confusion. The number of the godly indeed 
daily increases. The alacrity and zeal are astonishing. But the fickleness of one 
man {the King of Navarre) is the cause why the Parliament of Paris assails Christ 
with obstinate fury." Disorders break out everywhere in consequence of the refusal 
of the Parliament to register the Edict of January. 

1562.] BULLINGER. £G3 

in the mean time till the violence of the tumult be a little spent. 
Marseilles and some other cities, which were meditating a revolt, 
have been reduced to subjection by having garrisons placed in 
them. The Parliament of Toulouse would willingly have thrown 
everything into disorder, but the magistrates of the city who are 
called capitouls, because to them belongs the ordinary juris- 
diction, having assembled a powerful and energetic body of men 
so completely subdued the arrogance and cruelty of the Parlia- 
ment, that now in the suburbs of the city there are free meetings 
of the godly to the number of ten thousand men. Indeed 
fifteen thousand have proclaimed their adherence to the gospel. 
In Auvergne the nobility still rages most obstinately. Among 
the Armoricans, that is, in Britanny, the nobility have almost to 
a man embraced the gospel. Also in Picardy, but the populace 
cannot be brought over. In Champaigne and the district of 
Sens they are rather lukewarm. The Burgundians begin to 
show a bolder spirit. They obey the edict of the king, but to 
see such numerous bodies proceeding in an orderly manner, in- 
stead of God's being worshipped in an obscure corner of the 
city, is what still more galls their adversaries. 

Certainly nothing retards so much the progress of Christ's 
kingdom as the paucity of ministers. Beza indeed informs us 
that Julian ' is attempting to ruin everything at court, but what- 
ever evil he is creating will fall on his own head. He had not, 
however, yet received my last letter. The queen too, now that 
she will see that they are coming to her aid, will probably be 
more violently exasperated against us. I will only urge, as I 
have hitherto done, that our brethren who but too late have 
made head against these extreme measures, should not allow so 
fine an opportunity to escape them. The advice which Beza 
asked of me I had already sent to him.^ I send you a copy of 

'The King of Navarre: "You can scarcely believe what deplorable scenes he 
creates, whom it least of all becomes to do so. If I have any occasion in future to 
write of him, I shall denominate him Julian, In one word I will say that we have 
need that the Lord should execute his judgments; hardly any such instance of fickle- 
ness, perfidy, and profligacy exists." Beza Calvino, 26th February, 1662. 

' " They inquire earnestly upon what conditions we should establish a free and 
Christian council. I ask you to aid us on the earliest occasion with your advice." 

264 BULLINGBR. [1562. 

it in Latin, though I have preferred to render literally in bar- 
barous style my French reply, rather than aim at expressing 
myself with the elegance of a pure Latinity. I have also en- 
deavoured to be concise, but without, however, omitting anything 
that is essential. If I shall seem to have made more concession 
to the adverse party than I ought, you will remember that I 
was not at liberty to consult my own wishes. I was under the 
necessity of accommodating what I said to the capacity of the 
queen. I had two objects in view: first, that the Papists 
should repudiate our conditions, should they chance to be 
favourably received by the council, which it is certain they 
will be next, if they shall be forced to submit to the yoke, that 
no council of any sort shall have in their power to do us any 
injury. I judged it more advantageous for us to sit in it as 
tribunes of the people, than being confounded with the senators 
to be overwhelmed by the majority of votes. You will look to 
what our brother Beza asks of you, and determine with your 
colleagues what shall be most expedient, and with all convenient 
speed. If anything of greater importance take place, endeavour 
to be early made acquainted with it. When Cognet arrives, he 
will aid us in carrying letters backward and forward. The ap- 
probation of France will expose the hypocrisy of those who place 
all their reliance on men, will increase the courage of the godly, 
and teach them to rely more upon God alone, and the agita- 
tion will at the same time stir them up to have recourse to 

In reading over what I have written, I perceive that I have 
omitted to allude to a subject which I had determined to do. 
Already about the middle of February a report was circulated 
in this neighbourhood, that the senate of Berne had been induced 
by your advice to change its resolution respecting the convoca- 
tion of a Synod, and that those who were preparing to set out 
for it had been suddenly countermanded by an edict. I am 
quite aware that you have acted with proper intentions, but a 
sJ-ight experience will show you that your advice was far from 
being salutary. You have no occasion to solicit my co-opera- 
tion, for I declare that all our prospects are ruined. I dispense 
with saying anything more. Being lately summoned to a synod 

1562.] PETER MARTYR. 265 

at Neuchatel, I begged to be excused, lest those who feign to 
have need of my assistance, should exclaim that I go beyond 
my bounds. I am summoned to it a second time. I am un- 
certain what I shall do. This I know that you are greatly and 
too greatly mistaken in thinking that they desire to consult for 
the good of the church. I could wish I were in the remotest 
corners of the earth,^ when I see them so insultingly making 
game of me. 

[Lat. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.\ 

DCXXVI.— To Peter Martyr.^ 

Disorders the precursors of the civil wars in France — Opposition of the Reformer to 

the Council of Trent. 

Geneva, 16fA March, 1562, 

Now, at last, I have received your letter, most accomplished 
and venerable brother, to which if I give a short reply without 
adding any apology you will know how to account for it. The 
Bernese have not changed their resolution about calling a synod. 
A report had gone abroad that by the advice of Bullinger they 
had done so. From whatever quarter that rumour arose, still 
from the contempt of a remedy in mortal diseases, I augur no- 
thing but what is disastrous. But not to entangle myself in 
such a labyrinth of matters, I pass on to others. Our brother 
Beza is exercised with hard trials. By the treachery and 
wickedness of Julian, he narrowly escaped, a short time ago, 
from being dragged to execution, along with many others, but 
God miraculously brought to naught such infamous attempts.^ 

• Ultra Sauromatas. 

•This letter is the last of Calvin's correspondence with Martyr, who died at Zurich 
on the 12th November, 1562. 

*Is this an allusion to the journey of Theodore Beza to the court which was then 
assembled at the Chateau of Monceaux, and to his eloquent protestation agninst the 
massacre of Vassy? It was at that time he addressed to the King of Navarre, in 
the face of the Guises, this proud saying : — "It is, in truth, the part of the chnrch 
of God to endure blows and not to inflict any; remember, however, that it is an an- 
vil on which many hammers have been broken." 



Now though that apostate has summoned the Guises to court, in 
order to have recourse to the worst extremities, Beza, never- 
theless, trusts not only that these efforts will be unavailing, but 
that the church will receive so great an increase that they will 
not dare to attempt any thing afterwards. The first collision 
is to be dreaded, unless God speedily come to our aid, which we 
should ask by continual prayers. But though serious threats 
and terrors are impending everywhere over us, I nevertheless 
augur that something prosperous will come out of it. Since 
the Pope will not satisfy King Philip, and the Duke of Plorence 
is under apprehensions from both of them, I doubt not but our 
brethren will present to the king and his council a form of pro- 
testation against the Council of Trent. The queen, also, would 
wish us to interfere, as I reminded M. Bullinger. You will see 
what advantages may arise from it. It would be absurd for us 
to attempt any thing apart, but we will willingly subscribe to 
the words of the resolution. 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and honoured brother. May 
the Lord always stand by you, long preserve you from danger, 
and bless your labours. The Marquis and the others salute 
you. I beg also to present my best respects to your wife and 


Yours, John Calvin. 

[^Lat. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupuy. Vol. 102, p. 59.] 

DCXXVII. — To THE Queen of Navarre.' 

Expression of warm sympathy for the trials of this princess. 

Gkneva, 22d March, 1562. 

Madame : — My compassion for your sorrows makes me feel, 
fn part, how severe they must be to you, and how bitter to sup- 

' Offended in her dignity as a wife and a mother, hy the disorderly conduct of her 
husband, deeply afflicted by his union with the enemies of the Reformation, this princess 
was a prey to the most poignant distress. " The Queen of Navarre, however, like a 
prudent and virtuous princess as she is, endeavoured to bring back her husband, sup- 
porting every thing which she could, and pointing out to him what he owed to God 
and his followers. But in vain, to such a degree is he infatuated. Seeing that she 


port. But be tliej what they will, assuredly it is infinitely bet- 
ter to be sorrowful for such a cause than to live in contented 
indifference to the perdition of your soul. It is a desirable 
thing to live at ease when God affords such a blessing to his 
children, as to put it into their power fully to rejoice, and since 
that is a privilege which does not always last, if it please him 
to try us sharply, it is also desirable to follow him through 
rugged and difficult ways. You have been taught, Madame, 
that we cannot serve him without fighting. The kinds of com- 
bats are diverse, but in whatever way it shall please God to 
exercise us, we ought to be prepared for it. If the assaults 
you have to sustain are rude and terrible, God has long ago 
furnished you with an opportunity of meditating on them be- 
forehand. The king, your husband, has already been long 
assaulted by two of the devil's horns — I mean D'Escars' and 
the Bishop of Auxerre.^ Not only has he allowed himself to 
be cast down by them, but, of his own accord, he arms himself 
against God and God's children. I speak as of a thing that is 
notorious. I know, Madame, that the first batteries are directed 
against you. But though the difficulties should be a hundred 
times greater, the courage which comes from on high, when we 
have recourse to it, will be victorious. Remember only never 
to weary of holding out, having God for your guaranty, for we 
do not obey him at random, inasmuch as his promise cannot fail 
that he will give a favourable issue to our constancy when it is 
founded on his word. Therefore, should the whole world be 
turned upside down, if our anchor is cast in heaven, however 
tossed we may be, most assuredly we shall arrive in safety at 
the harbour. St. Paul says that He is faithful to keep that which 

had recourse but to tears and prayers, filling every one with compassion, except the 
said sieur, the king, the queen-mother, in the mean time, tried to persuade her to 
humour the king, her husband. At last, she made this reply, that rather than go to 
mass, if she held her kingdom and her son in her hand, she would throw them botH 
into the bottom of the sea, if they should be an obstacle to her in the performance 
of her duty. On receiving this answer, they ceased to trouble her on that point." — 
Beza, Hist. EecL, vol. i., p. 689. 

' Francis d'Escars^ servant of the King of Navarre, "a man," says Mezeray, "who 
sold himself for money to every body except his master." 

^ Philip de Lenoncourt, Bishop of Auxerre, suborned by the Guises to bring back 
the King of Navarre to the bosom of the Catholic Church. 

268 STURM. [1562. 

we have committed to him. Thus knowing in whom we have 
believed, let us persevere, pitying those who amuse themselves 
with such paltry attractions as even little children would laugh 
at. In the mean time, Madame, you shall not be forgotten in 
our prayers, as we learn both from our brother M. Beza and 
others that you desire them. I feel very confident, Madame, 
that God will hear your groanings, as well as ours, provided we 
offer to him the sacrifice of humility which he desires. For, 
though we may and should be bold in maintaining his quarrel, 
still we ought to attribute it to our sins that the course of his 
gospel is retarded. Whatever happen, in the midst of all your 
distresses remember the saying of St. Paul: "Let us rejoice 
in the Lord continually, and I say unto you again rejoice ;" 
words uttered, no doubt, that we may have an invincible cour- 
age amid all our afilictions. 

Madame, as the bearer will return to you to know whither it 
will please you to direct him, I cannot help declaring that he 
has conducted himself here so well that we could have wished 
to retain him altogether, which we should have done had he not 
been dedicated to your churches. I know he has not lost his 
time in coming here, as the fact will show. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCXXVIIL— To Sturm.' 

Mission of Bud6 into Germany — Duplicity of the Guises. 

Geneva, 25tk March, 1562. 

For what reason our friend Bud^ has undertaken this mission, 

he himself will better explain to you orally than it would be 

safe for me to do by letter. I doubt not but the cause when it 

'shall be laid before you will meet with your warmest support. 

' At the moment wlien the massacre of Vassy rendered the civil war inevitable, 
Calvin, devoted to his peaceful mission, tried the effect of a last measure upon the 
Protestant princes of Germany, in order to obtain from them an embassy to the king 
with instructions to exhort him to maintain the Edict of January, and not suffer him- 
self to be led on by the fatal influence of the Guises. Sturm was the confident and 
natural intermediary of these steps, which produced no result. 

1562.] THE CHURCH OF LYONS. 269 

Nay, as it is a cause common to you and us, I deem it superflu- 
ous to exhort you in many words to embrace it. If the liberty 
which has been promised us by an edict be not destroyed, the 
Papacy will fall to pieces of itself. The Guises will therefore 
have recourse to all extremities, in order forcibly to deprive us 
of it. But to repress their assaults it is of the highest import- 
ance that the princes of Germany should interfere to exhort 
the king to constancy, and declare that their good offices will be 
employed in his favour as far as opportunities will permit. If 
those furies lately made any dissembling promises at Saverne,* 
the atrocious act which immediately followed has revealed how 
vain and deceitful all their flatteries were. For scarcely had 
they quitted the colloquy, when they hurried to the perpetra- 
tion of the most barbarous massacre.^ But these things, and 
whatever relates to the cause, you will learn from Budd. 

Farewell, most accomplished and honoured sir. May the 
Lord always stand by you and preserve you in safety. 
[Lat. Orig. — lAhrary of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCXXIX.— To THE Church of Lyons.^ 

Severe admonitions because of the conduct of one of its ministers. 

Geneva, 13<A May, 1562. 

Dearly beloved Brethren : — We have already long waited 
for letters from you, in order to have an opportunity in answer- 

' Adding craft to hatred, the Cardinal of Lorraine and his brother Francis de Guise 
had attracted the Duke of Wurtemberg to Saverne, and affected in their interview 
with this prince the warmest desire to labour for the Reformation of the Church, at 
the moment they were hatching the most odious plot against the Reformed. Schmidt, 
Vie de Sturm, pp. 110, 111. 

' The conferences took place in February, and the massacre on the 1st of March, 

3 Exasperated by the news of the massacre of Vassy, and supported by several cap- 
tains of the Prince of Conde's army, the Protestants of Lyons took possession of the 
town on the 30th April, 1562. This audacious act, accomplished in a few hours, and 
almost without bloodshed, was followed by excesses greatly to be regretted. The 
Church of St. John was sacked, and given up to be pillaged by the Huguenots, and 
these violent deeds remained unpunished. Informed of what had taken place at 

270 THE CHURCH or lyons. [1562. 

ing them, of disburdening our hearts of what lies so heavily on 
them. But since the change which has taken place at Lyons, 
we have not received a single word either from you or the so- 
ciety of the elders, which leads us to suppose that there is much 
disorder, seeing that we are solicited by certain persons to suc- 
cour your church, and you drop not one word about it. Nay, 
when the Sire Jerome des Gouttes, passing by here a short time 
ago, asked us to send ministers to aid you, he declared that he 
was the bearer of no letters from you. In the mean time, we 
have news which causes us great distress. We are perfectly 
aware that in such disturbances it is difficult to preserve so 
much moderation as that no excesses shall be committed, and 
we could easily excuse you for not having held the bridle so 
tight as might have been desirable. But there are things quite 
insupportable concerning which we are forced to write to you 
with greater asperity than we could have wished. We should 
be traitors to God, to you, and to Christianity itself, if we dis- 
sembled what to our great regret is spoken of you here. It is 
an unbecoming act in a minister to play the trooper, or captain, 
but it is much worse when one quits the pulpit to carry arms.^ 
But the worst of all is to go to the governor of a town, pistol in 
hand, and glorying in force and violence, to threaten him ; here 
are the words that have been repeated to us, and which we hold 
from trustworthy witnesses : " Sir, you must do it, for we have 
force in our hands." We tell you frankly that we feel as much 
disgust at expressions of that sort as at the sight of a monster. 
We were also exceedingly displeased at the seal appended by 
the governor and the ministers. We pronounce the same judg- 
ment about the passports, and such like things, the enormity 
of which has disgusted many people ; that is to say, alienated 
them from the gospel, and troubled and grieved all persons who 
have any piety and modesty. Nor was this enough for them, 
but they must scour the whole country, carrying off booty and 

LyoDS by the minister Viret, whose eloquence had greatly contributed to calm the 
passions that had been let loose, Calvin addressed severe reproaches to the ministers 
of this church. — See De Thou, Lib. xxxi. ; Beza, vol. iii., p. 221. 

' The Minister Jacques Ruti, a man of energy and action, had put himself at the 

head of armed bands, and had powerfully contributed to the taking of the town. 

See Beza and De Thou, ut supra. 

1562.] THEODORE BEZA. 271 

pillaging the cows and other cattle, and that too even since the 
Baron des Adrets arrived invested with authority,^ who did not 
approve of such misdeeds with which those who boast of being 
the ministers of God's word were not ashamed to mix themselves 
up. Now these old wounds have been again ripped up, for we 
have been told that the booty which had been taken from St. 
John's church has been exposed to sale to the highest bidder, 
and knocked down for a hundred and twelve crowns ; nay, they 
promised the soldiers that they would distribute to each of them 
his portion. It is true, that M. Rufi is expressly charged with 
the direction of all these affairs. But it seems to us that you 
are partly to be blamed for not having checked him when you 
had liberty and power to do so ; for if he does not submit to 
your correction, let him seek where he may erect a church 
apart. We cannot remonstrate gently with you on these mat- 
ters, which we cannot hear mentioned without shame and bitter- 
ness of heart. Now, though it is late to remedy them, still we 
cannot refrain from entreating you, in the name of God, and 
exhorting you as much as it depends on us, to strive to compen- 
sate for past faults, and, above all, to put an end to all these 
acts of plunder and robbery. For you should much rather quit 
these people, and separate yourselves from them, than bring 
disgrace on the gospel by associating with them. Already there 
was an inconsiderate zeal in devastating as they have done the 
temples, but as it was done in the heat of passion, and from 
some feelings of devotion ; people that fear God will not pass a 
very rigorous judgment on that act. But of the plunder, what 
can they say ? By what title shall it be lawful to take away 
by force things that belong not to any private person ? If petty 
thefts are punishable, it is a double crime to plunder public pro- 
perty. "Wherefore, if you wish not to be hated and detested 
by all men, take measures to repair such offences. For if you 
delay any longer, we are greatly afraid that you will set about 
it too late. Wherefore, we will pray God to guide you by a 
spirit of prudence, direct you in all equity and uprightness, 
fortify you with constancy and virtue, that the pains which 

' See the following letter. 

272 THE BAllON DES ADRETS. [1562. 

you take may not be useless, but that your doctrine may fruc- 
tify and his name be glorified. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dvpuy. Vol. 102.] 

DCXXX. — To THE Baron des Adrets.' 

He exhorts him to repress severely the disorders of those of his party at Lyons. 

Geneva, IZth May, 1562. 

Monsieur : — "We know very well that God, to curb our self- 
sufficiency, always tempers the joys which he allots us with some 
admixture of disappointments, and yet we were not greatly as- 
tonished to learn that people had overstepped the bounds of 
moderation in the change which took place at Lyons. And 
though it grieved us that they had allowed themselves too much 
license in some respects, still we supported that without break- 
ing silence. But since your arrival there to take the direction 
of affairs, it is high time for them to moderate their impetuosity, 
and what is more that some order should be established instead 
of this confusion. We doubt not but you have laboured as much 
as possible to that end. As the charge, however, is heavy and 
difficult, we easily imagine that you cannot remedy all the evils 
which displease you, as it were to be wished. Most assuredly, 
however, you should make every possible exertion for that pur- 
pose, and above all correct one abuse which is altogether in- 
supportable. I allude to the pretensions of the soldiery to have 
a right to plunder the chalices, reliquaries, and other furniture 
of the temples. What is worse, it has been reported that one 

' Francis de Beaumont, Baron des Adrets, one of the principal chiefs of the Pro- 
testant party, which he dishonoured by his cruelties : " He was," says Beza, "one of 
the most vigilant of men, bold and successful in his enterprises, and truly gifted with 
mnny of the qualities requisite in a great captain ; but in other respects extremely 
nmbitious and cruel, which vices tarnished the lustre of his other virtues, and at last 
deprived him of all conscience and reputation." ^i«<. JJccZ., vol. iii., p. 224. After 
the taking of Lyons by the Huguenots, the Baron des Adrets took possession of the 
government of this city, which he was obliged soon after to put into the hands of M. 
de Loubise. Dissatisfied with the Prince of Conde, he entered into negotiations with 
the court, became again a Catholic, and turned his arms against his own party. He 
died in 1586, equally the object of the reprobation of both churches. 


of tlie ministers had so identified himself with these plunderers 
as to cause to be exposed for sale a quantity of such booty. 
First of all, if that is true, it will cause dreadful scandal and make 
the gospel evil spoken of, and even if the mouths of the wicked 
should not be opened to blaspheme the name of God, still it is 
quite unlawful without a public authorization to touch public 
property. And in fact we are very certain that the Prince of 
Cond^ and all the worthy Seigneurs that have embraced our 
party, will not only disavow but stamp with infamy such an act, 
inasmuch as it is calculated to bring disgrace upon a cause so 
good and holy in itself, and render it odious. We are thoroughly 
persuaded that you will not suffer such extortions and acts of 
violence, and that without being greatly solicited you will be 
ready and inclined to lay hands on the authors of them. But 
the only means to provide against this evil is, we think, to have 
proclaimed about the public squares and crossways, that all those 
who shall have taken such booty, or received and concealed it, 
shall have to bring back what part of it is in their possession within 
a delay of eight days, on pain of being reputed guilty of larceny, 
and proceeded against as thieves, and that all those who know 
any persons that keep back or possess any part of it, shall have 
to make a declaration to that effect, within the aforesaid term, 
on pain of being punished as receivers. If the evil is not cor- 
rected by these means, at least we may be sure that the remedy 
will not be without some good effects ; for by it you will close, as 
far as it will be possible, the mouths of evil speakers. 

We have made no difficulty, Monsieur, in sending to you 
privily our opinion, and in praying and exhorting you in the 
name of God to bestir yourself and act vigorously as the case 
deserves. Whereupon, Monsieur, having ajQfectionately com- 
mended ourselves to your indulgent favour, we will supplicate 
our heavenly Father to keep you under his protection, fortify 
you by his power, and increase you in all good. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupuy. Vol. 102.] 


DCXXXI. — To Monsieur de Diesbach.^ 

He urges him to send succour to the Reformed who were besieged in Lyons. 

Geneva, 13th June, 1562. 

Most honoured Seigneur : — As I have this very day re- 
ceived a pressing charge from Lyons to solicit the speedy dis- 
patch of the succours, I have prayed the present nobleman, 
bearer of this letter, to take horse immediately, that the troops, 
if it be possible, may straightway begin their march; for as the 
town of Lyons is quite unprovided with troops, the enemy will 
be emboldened to throw themselves into it. Thus we must an- 
ticipate them in time. Add to this, that there is danger, lest 
the passages of Savoy be intercepted, for we have discovered, 
notwithstanding his fine protestations, that his highness'^ intends 
to join our enemies. Wherefore I pray, that conformably to the 
affection you bear us, you would furnish the bearer with all ne- 
cessary directions, and give him advice respecting what he shall 
have to do. 

Whereupon, most honoured Seigneur, having humbly com- 
mended myself to your indulgent favour, I will pray our 
heavenly Father to have you in his keeping and increase you in 
all good and prosperity. 

Your servant and humble brother, 

John Calvin. 

[i^r. original. — Archives of Berne.] 

' On the hack : To the most honoured Seigneur Monsieur de Diesbach, Bailifif of 

Threatened by the united forces of the Catholic armies of Burgundy and Dauphin^, 
under the command of the Dulce of Nevers, the Protestants of Lyons invoked the 
succour of the Reformed Cantons of Switzerland. The bookseller Jean Frellon, their 
deputy, obt(\ined for them eight companies from Berne, four from the Valais, three 
from Neuchatel, on condition that these troops should be inscribed for the service of 
the king and destined for the protection of Lyons. De Thou, lib. xx.xi. Calvin 
actively urged the sending off of these auxiliaries. 

" The Duke Emmanuel Philibert. 

1562.] BULLINGER. 275 


An appeal addressed to the Seigneurs of Berne in favour of the French Protestants — 
Succours from England and Germany — Juridical massacres at Toulouse — Prelimi- 
naries of the civil war. 

Geneva, 15th August, 1562. 

It is not from negligence, believe me, venerable brother, that 
I write to you so seldom, but because I see things ever and 
anon changing. Shame, to a certain extent, makes me lazy, 
for fear I should afterwards be obliged to retract what I have 
written. At last, the Bernese have been prevailed on to make 
preparations for recovering the cities of Burgundy. Their pro- 
gress, however, is slow, and we are afraid that the whole expe- 
dition will shortly come to nought, because the senate has replied 
too timidly and too servilely to Mendoza. They always insist 
with puerile chicanery that they only came to garrison the city, 
as if, forsooth, there had not been quite men enough to eat up 
the provisions without them. If Chatillon be captured, and a 
strong garrison placed in it, the navigation of the Soane will be 
secured, which supplies a copious abundance of many kinds of 
provisions. This will be the true defence of the city. But 
something else is required which, if that district be pacified, 
can easily be accomplished ; it is that they should march straight 
to join the prince. But they obstinately refuse to do that, nor 
can the senate be induced to permit it. For what purpose, then, 

• Active negotiations were entered upon to determine the Protestant cantons of 
Svrisserland to interfere in favour of their fellow Protestants of France in the strug- 
gle that had already commenced. Beza, associated in all the trials of the churches 
which he had supported hy his eloquence at Poissy, had repaired to Bale, in order to 
act at the same tinae on the German courts and the Helvetic councils. In a letter of 
the 15th of September, he transmitted to Calvin useful information respecting the 
results of the negotiations, of which the object was to unite in one common cause all 
the Protestant forces. He announced the arrival of D'Andelot with eight thousand 
German Lansquenets, and expressed his wishes that Swisserland should contribute 
not less efficaciously for the defence of the Evangelical cause. " Oh if some universal 
league could be concluded among us ! Nor do I doubt but that will take place. But 
the consternation of men is incredible. Whatever may be the issue, however, of 
these times, our redemption is at hand, which thing alone consoles me." — {Library 
of Geneva, vol. 117.) 


276 BULLINGER. [1562. 

did they need to bring out troops? The prince himself lately 
sent word that he was again assembling his dispersed forces, 
and that in a short time he would have a powerful army. The 
enemy has been greatly terrified by the arrival of the English, 
who have pitched their camp in the heart of Normandy, and in 
a short time the Scots will join them. For that reason, the 
queen, again having recourse to her intrigues, is covertly sending 
envoys to treat about a peace. For which cause, however, the 
Admiral bids us not to be alarmed. The auxiliaries which we 
expected from Germany, unless I am mistaken, will be no more 
heard of, because they had never touched any money. Our 
senate has enjoined Budd to procure a loan of twelve thousand 
gold crowns, either at Bale or Strasbourg. If all had good- 
will in proportion to their means, we should not be thus desti- 
tute. God is then to be entreated that he may provide for us 
from some other quarter. The Queen of Navarre is furnished 
with a small army which will be sujEcient for keeping in check 
a part of Guienne, but unless it be reinforced by new auxilia- 
ries, it is not strong enough to fall upon the enemy, a thing 
much to be desired, however, in order that it might render use- 
ful service to the public cause. It is also much to be lamented 
that it has not yet been possible to repress the cruelty of the 
senate of Toulouse, which has put to death, by the hand of the 
executioner, upwards of thirty individuals, wealthy and honour- 
able, noble, also, and who had discharged public functions. If 
you perceive that your authority can have any influence in de- 
ciding the senate of Berne to permit their troops to join the 
prince, I entreat you to strain every nerve for that purpose, 
because if the war is protracted any longer, we are completely 
ruined, as well as the kingdom. Would they had never left 
home ! but in your wisdom you must conclude how much it 
concerns the fame of the war that they should not depart ; nay, 
if the aftair is to be decided by a battle, that they should be sta- 
tioned at no great distance from the German fusileers, whom the 
enemy has engaged as mercenaries. One company has deserted 
to our side ; others have promised that they will not engage 
with us. The favourable disposition of the French cavahy, to- 
wards us, also, makes the party of the Guises very uneasy. The 

1562.] BULLINGER. 277 

King of Navarre has been sent to draw the king into the camp, 
in order that the Swiss and the other foreign troops, as well as 
the French who profess to be devoted to the king alone, may no 
longer decline the service. This compact, however, will turn 
out, I hope, to be a fable. A whole month has now elapsed 
since Beza ought to have been among us. But from the time 
when he arrived in safety in Champaigne, along with his com- 
panion, Porcien, we have not heard the slightest rumour respect- 
ing what quarter of the world he may be in ; because I am un- 
willing to augur any misfortune, I conjecture that he has been 
detained in that province where at present grave commotions 
are reigning. As soon as any thing certain and worthy of be- 
ing known shall have transpired, I will compensate, by my dili- 
gence in writing to you, for my fifteen days' silence. 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and honoured brother, along 
with M. Peter Martyr, Gualter, and all your colleagues. May 
the Lord preserve you all in safety, and crown your labours 
with a happy success. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

YLat. Orig.^ in Calvin's handwriting. — Library of Zurich, Hottinger, 

F. 80, p. 343.] 

A petition in favour of a prisoner of the inquisition at Milan. 

Geneva, 9«A September, 1562. 

I am obliged, at the request of those who do not comply with 
my advice, to be troublesome to you, venerable brother. A 
worthy man has been thrown into prison at Milan, because ho 
had expressed himself rather too freely against the Papistical 
impiety. He is, indeed, a native of Burgundy, but has long 
been settled in our city, and has been to Italy on business. 
Our senate would have been ready to intercede for him, but 
forbore because their letter would only have been turned into 
ridicule. I gave an advice which his friends rejected, for they 
imagined if four Swiss cantons that profess the pure doctrine 


of the gospel should intercede for him, the Milanese would 
scarcely venture to attempt any thing against him. And yet I 
am afraid lest your authority also may be slight, and of small 
weight in this affair ; nevertheless because the cause itself de- 
serves no common recommendation I entreat you again and 
again to aid our initiative, by procuring letters with what fidel- 
ity and diligence you can. 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and honoured brother. May 
the Lord govern you by his Spirit, sustain you by his power, 
and preserve you in safety. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

[Laf. Orig. — Arch, of Zurich, Gest. II. 166, p. 52.] 

DCXXXIV. — To the Churches of Languedoc' 

A collection for the benefit of the German soldiers enrolled under the banner of the 

Reformed churches. 

GenetA, September, 1562. 

Messieurs: — Very dear and honoured brethren, I should 
wish indeed to transport myself among you to make you under- 
stand with what disposition of mind I write the present. But 
since it is not in my power to do this, I trust that the thing it- 
self being properly understood by you will suffice to touch your 

' Without a date. The end is wanting. September, 1562. 

The massacre of Vassy gave the signal for the civil war. While the Prince of Conde, 
fortified in Orleans, addressed an appeal for men and money to the Reformed churches 
of the kingdom, d'Andelot went to solicit the support of the Protestant princes of 
Germany, and brought back a body of 6,000 reitres or lansquenets, with which he 
marched towards the frontier of Lorraine. He wrote on the 26th August, 1562, to 
Calvin: "It is a thing of which we must not become tired, but for which we should 
always be importunate, I mean the research of every means of procuring money, for 
it is of that we stand excessively in need, having, thank God, found so much favour on 
the other side of the Rhine, among the princes, that I hope to lead with me 3000 
horse, and as many lansquenets. And if I now see them all disposed to do their ut- 
most for us, I was a long time before I brought them to favour my views at all, and 
had almost begun to despair. I trust that our gracious God still wills to make use 
of human means to favour his church." Coll. de M. Tronchin a Geneve. Calvin 
addressing himself to the churches exhorted them to provide liberally for the expenses 
of the war provoked by the violation of the Edict of January. 


hearts to devote yourselves to the good cause without reserve, 
each one according to his means. The point in question is to 
find money to support the troops which M. d'Andelot has 
levied. This is not the moment to enter into inquiries or dis- 
putes, in order to find fault with mistakes that have been com- 
mitted in times past. For whatever may have been the cause 
of these, God has reduced us to such an extremity that if you 
are not succoured from that quarter, we can expect nothing, ac- 
cording to human probability, but a pitiful and horrible desola- 
tion. I know very well that though all should be ruined and 
lost, God has incomprehensible means of re-establishing his 
church as if he raised it from the dead, and it is that trust in 
which we must repose and patiently wait — that should we be 
abolished, even at the worst he knows how to create out of our 
ashes a new people. Nevertheless we have good reason to 
think, if we would not designedly shut the door against his 
grace — not to be negligent in discharging the duties which fall 
to our own share. It is certain that dilatoriness and indiffer- 
ence, or rather the niggardliness of the churches has occasioned 
us greater detriment than it is possible to express. Several who 
have spared a part of their goods have been doomed to lose them 
all. What is worse, there is an infinite number of poor people 
who have answered for them with their lives, though it was not 
their fault. If this evil continue, it is much to be feared that 
God will bring a greater number of rods to scourge us, and in 
fact it is a great shame that the enemies of God consume body 
and substance for a miserable quarrel to the perdition of their 
souls, and that those who should maintain the truth should be 
so stingy and close fisted. But it is a double shame that the 
necessity. . . . 

\Fr. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

280 suLCER.. [1562. 


Political and military news of France-^Catherine de Medicis — The Emperor Ferdinand 
— The Turks — The Queen of England — Complaints against Peter Toussain. 

Geneva, 6th December, 1562. 

If I write to you less frequently than you might desire, you 
will be indulgent to my indolence, most excellent sir and vener- 
able brother, for I am so weighed down by grief as to be slug- 
gish in the performance of every duty, except when urged and 
dragged to it, as it were, contrary to my inclinations ; and also in 
so troubled a state of affairs I feel a reluctance to write about 
matters which are doubtful, lest to my shame I should have to 
retract what I believed to be true. For you cannot believe 
what licence people take in publishing lies. Wherefore from 
suffering from ennui, I have contracted such a habit of callous- 
ness that no reports affect me. Besides the roads have been 
so blocked up for six months that nothing certain reaches us. 
To-day we are ignorant of what our princes are doing, unless 
that about the end of the first month they were still at Corbeil. 
This is a small and poorly fortified town, about four hours' march 
distant from Paris. The advantages of the position of this place 
had induced the enemy to strive by every means to keep pos- 
session of it, because in consequence of its bridge the passage 
of provisions conveyed from Burgundy can easily be intercepted. 
St. Andrd had therefore occupied that post with a strong 
garrison, but he deserted it before the storming of it. The 
queen had again recurred to her wonted arts of pacification, but 
the enemies will be too stupid if, after having been so often de- 
ceived by her treacherous caresses, they should again expose 
themselves to her snares. Their deputies were courteously 
received by the emperor, by his son, and by the Electors, but 
have not had an answer given them. What has been circulated 
among you respecting the Turk is, I suspect, a vain rumour, for 
certainly a word would have been dropped about it in his letter, 
by the one' of the deputies to whom your princes disclose 
familiarly whatever it is our interest to be made acquainted 

1562.] SULCER. 281 

with. The Queen of England has boasted too greatly of the 
aid aiforded by her. It is by her vanity that we have lost 
Rouen. The Duke of Nemours had concluded an armistice 
with the Baron des Adrets, which has now expired. Because 
the Prefect of Lyons was ill, he asked for an interview with him 
which was refused. There is tranquillity at Lyons, but a penury 
of money. The Danes had already learned from others they 
would not find a convenient retreat among us. When they said 
then that they would return on the following day, there was no 
need of making a lengthened apology, and certainly our city 
was never at any previous period so crowded with wretched 
exiles. They flock hither in bands stripped of all their fortune, 
many of them orphans, many widows. In these straitened cir- 
cumstances in which we are placed, it is not an easy thing for 
men unacquainted with our language to find a position. But 
before they had spoken a word, they had resolved to remain at 
Bale till Easter. I pass now to another subject. 

Though often reminded of the atrocious perfidy and cruelty 
of Peter Toussain,' you preferred to suspend your judgment 
rather than give up an opinion you had once conceived of him. 
And that crocodile maintains his influence by his fawning man- 
ners, so well calculated to deceive. Now having attacked his 
colleague by fresh acts of treachery, he has succeeded in having 
him ordered to be suspended from his functions for a season. I 
am unwilling to enter on a long discussion on a subject that is 
quite manifest. The point in question is the doctrine of pre- 
destination, respecting which he wished the worthy man to 
abjure his sentiments. Need I recommend to you the cause of 
Christ ? Lest, however, you should suspect that something had 
escaped him which might cause ofi"ence, you will see from the 
whole course of the proceedings that he was only too modest 
when attacked by that enemy of all godly men. It is very far 
from being becoming that a learned and pious man should be 
unworthily molested, while we stand by and wink at it. But as 
I have no means of aiding him, I implore your faithful assistance.; 
you enjoy a very rare degree of influence with Balius and the 
Prefect. Now though Toussain has fascinated them by his 

' See vol. iii. p. 477. 


282 BULLINGER. [1562. 

cunning pretences, it will not be a matter of great difficulty for 
you after all to bring them back to the right path. I do not 
wish you to be mixed up with an obscure quarrel. I have ex- 
horted the brother that he should lay his whole case before you. 
Having duly examined the whole matter, you will decide ac- 
cording to your equity and prudence what is fitting to be done. 
This at least I desire to obtain from you that you will endeavour 
to mollify the Prefect, though I am confident that you will have 
still greater success, and that a man otherwise of intrepi'd char- 
acter will voluntarily undertake the defence of a just and pious 
cause. If then you set to work seriously, we have no doubts 
about the successful issue. 

Farewell, most excellent and respected brother. We have 
a new subject for sorrow in the death of Peter Martyr. Our 
brother Beza is still in the camp. Ribittd went to Orleans 
about six months ago, being called thither to discharge the 
functions of a teacher. May the Lord preserve you in safety, 
and enrich you more and more with his gifts. My colleagues 
very respectfully salute you. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


First religious war — Respective force of the two parties — Siege of Lyons — The Duke of 
Nemours — Des Adrets — News of Germany, and the Council of Trent. 

Geneva, 21th December, 1562. 

Although I dislike to write to you respecting things that are 
but uncertain, venerable brother, yet as this excellent young 

* This letter is but the abstract of several letters addressed by Beza to Calvin. lu 
it we see negotiations continually mixed up with hostilities during this first period 
of the civil war. Before coming to action, and inflicting on each other decisive blows, 
the parties seem to shrink from the terrible extremity to which they are henceforth 
reduced. A witness of these vicissitudes, Beza deplores them, as he sees the Protes- 
tant army allowing to escape more than one occasion of gaining a signal advantage 
over the Catholic enemy, and he bewails the painful necessities which detain him in 
France without his being able to exercise a decisive influence over events. " Would 

1562.] BULLINQER. 283 

man offered me his services to convey a letter to you, I was 
unwilling not to profit by the opportunity. What the Prince 
of Cond^ is meditating it is impossible for us to conjecture. 
About the beginning of this month, he had advanced his troops 
to the walls of Paris, and had almost reduced the city by famine 
after a blockade of fifteen days. The soldiers of Guise had 
made a sally, but being vigorously repulsed they then remained 
quiet behind their ramparts. Afterwards the queen had re- 
course to her usual intrigues, and the prince, with his indolent 
good nature, lost much time in deceitful conferences which he 
had better have employed in vigorous action. The common opi- 
nion was, that the preliminaries of a peace had been settled, when, 
contrary to expectation, Spanish and Breton troops came to the 
help of the enemy by which his activity was immediately in- 
creased. The prince withdrew his army to a greater distance. 
The soldiers of Guise went after him. On the fifteenth of this 
month, both parties had their camps in the Beauce, between 
the territory of the Chartrain and Maine. Letters were brought 
from Paris, and their contents were confirmed by certain proofs 
that the two armies had engaged in a trifling skirmish, and that 
seven hundred of the Spaniards had fallen. The news is not 
improbable, since a great many wounded had been conveyed to 
the city on carts and wagons. The enemy is stronger in infan- 
try, the prince much superior in cavalry. The report that had 
reached us of the recovery of Rouen is now found to be false, 
and yet I fancy there must have been some foundation for it. 
Something which ought to have been kept a secret was blabbed 
out before the time by some babblers, and got too wide a circu- 
lation. If, however, it is true, and I have good reasons for be- 
lieving it, that six thousand English have joined the prince, this 
will be no contemptible reinforcement. Assuredly, if he did 
not advance to meet . these troops that he might animate still 
more their resolution, we should have to pronounce his retro- 
grade movement an act of base cowardice. The Parisians 
themselves are rushing on more furiously than ever. Private 

that God would avert the things I fear. Nothing is more wretched than I who can 

neither stay here with any great advantage, nor yet absent myself. But God is with 
me."— Letter of the Uth December, 1562. (Vol. de Geneve, 117.) 

284 BULLINGER. [1562. 

individuals are in the habit of obtaining as a boon from their 
sovereigns a dispensation of the legal age, and thus advancing 
the period when they have a right to administer their own affairs. 
The Parliament has granted the king this dispensation, and de- 
clared his majority as it is called. In the mean time, as if he 
were still in his nonage, they have appointed him guardians. The 
conseillers who refused to condemn the Admiral and his brother 
D'Andelot have been thrown into prison. These are tokens of 
a most desperate state. Against Lyons, the Duke of Nemours 
as yet attempts nothing by force of arms, because he hopes 
that he will be able to reduce it gradually by famine. The 
Baron des Adrets, who had hitherto acted with energy, allured 
by his wheedling promises, had allowed him to be made governor. 
But yielding to the unanimous wishes of the nobility and the 
states, he desisted from his purpose. If Vienne, as we trust, 
will soon be recovered, the province of Languedoc, which at 
present abounds in wheat and wine, will supply a plentiful 
stock of provisions. A troop of horsemen, dispatched by the 
prince, which was advancing to Lyons, has been intercepted. 
We now entertain great hopes of the Baron des Adrets, and he 
has pledged himself to listen to good and salutary counsels. 
Assuredly, it was not from treachery, but error and foolish 
credulity that he compromised himself. If Crussol, whom the 
cities of Languedoc have created their governor, take up the 
matter seriously, the Lyonese will be out of danger. I am 
afraid that the Comte of Beauvais, formerly Cardinal de Cha- 
tillon, is too dilatory, and will with his hesitations be a drag 
upon his movements. Sulcer had written the same thing that 
you did respecting the Turkish embassy, but it was a false re- 
port. Our Frankfort friend, M. de Passy, formerly Bishop of 
Nevers,- was the deputy of the Prince de Cond^ to the emperor 
and the princes. As he had not mentioned the circumstance 
to me, I fancied it was an idle report. But now that he has 
arrived, he assures us that it was true. He declared that he 
was very graciously received by the emperor, who expressed to 
him his sorrow at the dissensions in France, especially because 
the enemies were plotting the destruction of pure religion. I 
suppose the news has reached you of the change in the form of 

1562.] BULLINGER. 285 

taking an oath, for he promised that he would be the defender 
not of the Roman but of the Christian church, and he omitted 
the mention of the saints, contenting himself with employing the 
name of God alone. You will perceive from his speech what 
kind of part the Cardinal of Lorraine has played in the Council 
of Trent. With him chimed in that famous apostate the legate 
of the king. Though the copies of their speeches are incorrect, 
you will nevertheless easily perceive how embarrassed they are, 
and that they cannot muster any other army, except there be 
the free exercise of religion in France. I remit copies of the 
letters which I had written to the Poles, because the second 
answer in which I had explained the question at considerable 
length miscarried, I dispense with handling that cause. I sus- 
pect it was lost by the negligence or forgetfulness of Beza. I 
am very desirous to hear more favourable accounts of your 
health. God has put fetters on my feet. The acute pains 
have ceased, however, but it is with great difficulty I can hobble 
in my room from njy bed to the table. I preached to-day, but 
I was carried to the church. 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and respected brother ; I beg 
you will salute your fellow pastors and brethren. My colleagues 
and friends all salute you ; among others, the amanuensis, whose 
hand you recognize. May the Lord keep you in safety, sus- 
tain you by his power, and bless your labours. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

You wished me to engage with Brentz, but up to this mo- 
ment it has been out of my power ; to such a degree have I 
been pressed by other lucubi'ations. If I can procure a little 
more leisure, an excellent opportunity has now presented itself, 
because the ministers who are in the dominions of the courts 
of Mansfeld have exhorted in a stupid pamphlet to repentance 
the French whom they acknowledge and style their brethren. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


BULLINGER. [1563. 


Battle of Dreux— Captivity of CondiS— Imposing attitude of Coligny— Theodore Beza 
at Orleans— Mission of the Cardinal de Lorraine to Germany— False news from 

Geneva, 16th Januaiy, 1563. 

At last, we have received a letter from the Admiral, giving 
us details of the battle and its results.^ The prince had led 
out his troops, that he might compel the enemy to quit the camp. 
If the infantry had done their duty, there is no doubt that im- 
mediately without much difficulty, and almost without any loss, 
they would have gained a victory. The cowardice of the infan- 
try, which some suspect to have been treachery, retarded the 
success. When the prince saw them basely hanging back, he 
dashed through their ranks, that shame, at least, might compel 
them to fight. In that course, his horse ^as wounded in the 
shoulder, hence it was that the enemy who was at no great dis- 
tance got possession of his person, as it was impossible for him 
to procure a fresh horse in time. Already the constable had 
been made prisoner, the Marshal de St. Andr^ slain, one of the 
sons of the constable, the Duke of Nevers, had received a 
mortal wound. A brother of Guise, called the grand prior, 
was dangerously wounded. Of the principal officers, about 
twenty had fallen, of whom three knights of the ordre Royal. 
Not a few of the nobility of the highest class have been made 
prisoners, who are now kept in close custody. The German 
troopers conducted themselves courageously, as became brave 

• On the 19th of December was fought the battle of Dreux. During more than 
two hours, the armies contemplated each other in sombre immobility. Each one 
said to himself, doubtless, that he had before him relations, friends, fellow-citizens. 
At last, the conflict began, and eight thousand dead bodies soon covered the field of 
battle. The Calvinists, at first, had the advantage, and the fugitives bavin'' con- 
veyed the news of it to Paris, " Well, then," said Catharine of Medicis," we shall 
have to pray to God in French." A skilful manoeuvre of the Duke of Guise brought 
back the advantage to the Catholics, and Coligny retreated proudly and in good 

" What interest a letter of the Admiral's and containing a narrative of the battle 
would afford us 1 This letter unfortunately has been lost. 

1563.] BULLINGER. 287 

soldiers. A like gallantry was displayed by the French cavalry. 
A terrible carnage took place in all the ranks of the enemies' 
army, but not above a fifth of our troops fell. Among those who 
have been taken, there is none except the Prince about whom we 
feel very anxious, and another named De Mouy, a cornet of 
cavalry. As night fell, both armies betook themselves to their 
camps. Among the enemies there was the greatest trepidation. 
Our troops were so animated with confidence that on the follow- 
ing day they did not hesitate to attack the enemy. The Duke 
of Guise kept his men within their entrenchments. The Ad- 
miral contented himself with letting them see that specimen of 
the spirit of his troops. The Prince of Cond^ is detained a 
close prisoner in a fortress situated between the Chartain and 
Dreux. The queen has set out for Chartres. The king fol- 
lowed a short time afterwards. No doubt the prince had been 
already conveyed thither. What the result of the conference 
was is unknown, except that fears are to be entertained of his 
too great propensity to the vain hope of a pacification, the dis- 
position of mind which has hitherto been the cause of all our 
misfortunes ; for unworthily betrayed three or four times he could 
never be induced to take precautions against treachery. Ne- 
vertheless, he courageously made head against his keepers, so 
that one would say he had assumed a manly character since 
the day of the battle. He alleges to them the edict which, in 
the king's name, the enemies had promulgated in the month of 
July, and in which it is declared that the war had been under- 
taken, in order to set him at liberty. He denies, then, that 
consistently with justice he should now be held to be a captive. 
He adds, too, that as he had been created the king's guardian 
by the sufirages of the orders, in order to represent the person 
of the king, it was unlawful for any one to lay hands upon him 
who was the second person of the kingdom. The day before 
the engagement, the prince had named the Admiral his succes- 
sor. All the troops again took the oath of obedience to him. 
Of the infantry, he reassembled no contemptible number. A 
thousand Lansquenets, or thereabouts, returned to their own 
country. The Reitres remained quite cheerful in the cause, as 
before. There was no insubordination, no sign of desertion. 

288 EULLINGER. [1563. 

The general himself harangued them and exhorted them to per- 
severance, and entertains the highest hopes. He also entreats 
them not to lend any credit to letters from the prince until he 
be restored to liberty. You can scarcely believe what I tell 
you, and yet it is perfectly true, that the constable was con- 
ducted to Orleans by only twelve men, and with so much speed 
that they entered the city in a little more than twenty-four 
hours after the battle, having accomplished a march of thirty 
French leagues. The Admiral had resolved on joining the 
English to the troops under his command, and if circumstances 
required it, he did not shrink from another engagement. If he 
chance to advance towards Lyons, do not imagine that this 
movement is a flight. A report is spread, indeed, that he is 
seeking a quiet district to recruit his troops. But there is some 
deeper design concealed under this measure, and assuredly it 
is of great importance that Lyons should receive supplies as 
speedily as possible before it suffer still more from a want of 
provisions. Add to this the defeat of the Baron des Adrets. 
Now if the Duke de Nemours were jDut to flight, the whole ter- 
ritory of Gaul as far as Guienne would be cleared of these rob- 
bers. The province of Languedoc is so productive of corn and 
wine, that the roads once opened up there is no danger of the 
Lyonese suffering from famine. Thus a blockade need no 
longer be feared in that quarter. Two thousand horsemen 
have come to their relief, and these having brought along with 
them not a few companions, this will be a strong reinforcement. 
The messenger who was bringing to me the letter of our friend 
Beza, has either been intercepted or wandered out of his way. 
Beza had written to me four days before the battle, but by the 
stupidity of the bearer the letter has made a long circuit before 
it reached me. I send you a copy. He himself is now safe 
and sound at Orleans. In the battle he stoutly harangued the 
soldiers, and took his place in the front ranks, as if he had 
been one of the standard bearers. This is the state of our 
affairs. No doubt, the enemies imagine that they have done 
something very advantageous for themselves by disseminating 
false and boastful reports of the affair, in order to throw dust 
in the eyes of silly people. But the matter is exactly as I 

1563.] • BULLINQER. 289 

have described it. There is one thing which I most earnestly 
entreat of you and all worthy men ; it is, that should there be 
any rumour about the arrival of the Cardinal of Lorrahie, j^ou 
would speedily drop a word about it to me. He pretends that 
he is undertaking this journey, in order to see the new king of 
the Romans, and negotiate a marriage between his daughter 
and the king of France. But he has something else in view. 
Do you most carefully sift the whole matter, and if you gain 
any information respecting it, fail not to let me know on the 
instant, even if you should send a courier expressly for that 
purpose, that we may have it in our power to provide against 
his criminal projects. I wish there had been some one to un- 
.dertake the defence of my cause when Baudouin passed through 
your town. Certainly, either justice would have been denied 
me, or he would never have escaped hanging. When I had 
resolved at this time not to intermeddle with the Polish blas- 
phemies, your entreaties prevailed on me to expose an impious 
error which had fascinated some of our countrymen. His fool- 
ish pride, then, in threatening us with so much assurance sur- 
prised me, though I suspect that the author of the epistle is a 
certain snappish Frenchman, whose temper I think I can recog- 
nize in it as in a mirror. At your request, then, I have ex- 
posed my judgment, and since the answer respecting an arbiter 
has miscarried, lest any thing similar should take place, I have 
taken care that this should be published, for it will be useful 
that it should be known everywhere. 

While my letter is waiting for the departure of the messen- 
ger, a report is spread about of a new engagement in which 
two thousand of the enemy have been slain. There is, also, a 
talk of thQ death of the Duke of Guise, at Cambray, but it 
does not seem to me very probable.' Three thousand men have 
been sent from Lyons to pillage the neighbouring district. 
Corn has already been conveyed there by a great many ves- 
sels. If they get possession of Macon, as they hope, there will 
be a sujBicient supply of provisions, on account of the naviga- 

' The Duke of Guise fell by the hand of an assassin on the 18th of February fol- 
lowing, at the siege of Orleans. 


290 THE QUEEN OF NAVARRE.' [1563. 

tion from Burgundy being open. For the Soane will furnish 
them abundantly with wheat, wine, wood, and hay. 

Farewell, most distinguished sir and respected brother, along 
with your fellow pastors. May the Lord preserve you all in 
safety, govern you by his Spirit, and bless your labours. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

I would have sent off this letter earlier, if De Frie had not 
earnestly begged me to put it off till the moment of his depar- 
ture ; for he fancied he would receive a warmer welcome among 
you if he should be the bearer of it. I had no other messen- 
ger at hand, but it was my intention to hire one, who should go 
as far as Berne. I suppose the report has also reached you, 
which has been afloat here, about the assassination of the Ger- 
man deputies in Champaigne. I do not believe it. Because 
the Comte Palatine had given that very inauspicious advice to 
M. Spifame, the prince's legate, not to be in a hurry about 
sending off an embassy, the affair had been broken off. What 
is said, that the one was of the family of Luneburg and the 
other the Comte of Mansfeld, is by no means probable. 
[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCXXXVIII.— To THE Queen of Navarre.^ 

Counsels for the abolition of the Catholic worship and the establishment of the pure 

gospel in Navarre. 

Geneva, 20<A January, 1563. 

Madame : — Since it has pleased God, in removing from this 
world the late king, your husband, to put into your hands the 

• Letter written to the Queen of Navarre after the death of her husband. 

Severely wounded at the siege of Rouen where he commanded the Catholic army, 
this prince whom fortune seemed for a moment to call to great things, but whose in- 
curable weakness rendered him the sport of all parties, died at Andelis the 17th 
November, 1562, in the forty-fourth year of his age. He appeared, if we may believe 
the account of one of his servants, to repent, during his last moments of having be- 
trayed the Reformed faith : "Towards the evening the queen mother who had been 
informed . . . came to see him, and, having begun to converse with him, said : 


entire charge of your country and subjects, you do well to think 
of acquitting yourself of your duty, as having to render an 
account to a Master and Sovereign Prince, who desires that his 
right should be maintained. For in commanding that he him- 
self should be feared and kings honoured, thus doing you the 
honour of associating you with himself, it is every way reason- 
able that you should strive to do him homage and show him 
gratitude for the state and dignity which you hold from him ; 
and just as you would not suffer the superiority which belongs 
to you to be taken from you by your officers, so you are bound, 
if you desire to be maintained under the protection of God, to 
take measures as far as it shall be in your power to have him 
served and honoured, showing to others the example. And in 
fact, Madame, it is only in subjecting your majesty to him that 
your reign will be established before him. You know that every 
knee should bend under the empire of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
but kings are specially commanded to pay him this mark of 
homage, for the purpose of showing better how much more they 
are held to cast down the loftiness which has been bestowed on 
them, and exalt him who is the chief of the angels of paradise 
and consequently of the great ones of this world. Wherefore, 
Madame, since the government is now come into your hands, 
know that God wishes to prove more and more the zeal and 
solicitude you have to acquit yourself faithfully in giving the 
pre-eminence to the true service which he demands. There are 
several reasons which prevent me from pushing this argument 
any farther. For all who have any dominion are also enjoined 

Brother, how do you spend your time? You should make some one read to j'ou. He 
replied : All my servants or the greater part of those who are around me are Hugue- 
nots, to which the lady replied: They are no less your servants." The queen having 
retired, he called for his physician, and had the history of Job read to him, to which 
he listened attentively. He then said : "Ah 1 Raphael, I see very well that I am 
dying, you have served me seven and twenty years, and now you see the deplorable 
days of my life. . ." And hereupon, he began with tears in his eyes, to beg pardon 
of God, and make a confession of his faith, according to the manner of the Reformed 
Church, protesting that if God should give him the grace to recover, he would cause 
the gospel to be preached in purity all over the kingdom, but that he would keep by 
the Confession of Augsburg." Account of the King of Navarre's death. Archives 
cnrieiiseg de I'Histoire dc France, vol. v, p. 70, and the following. See also Beza, vol. 
ii. pp. 665-C67. 


to purge their territories of every kind of idolatry and cor- 
ruption, by which the purity of true religion is defiled. And 
when St. Paul commands to pray for kings and all who are in 
authority, it is not without cause that he adds this reason, " In 
order that we may live under them in all godliness and honesty." 
Before speaking of civil virtues, he enjoins the fear of God, by 
which he signifies that the office of princes is to see that God be 
adored with purity. I take into consideration the dilficulties 
which may retard you, the fears and doubts which may debilitate 
your courage, and I am persuaded that the numerous councillors 
you shall have around you, if they think only of the world, will 
endeavour to stay your hand in this good work. But it is 
certain that all fear of men which will divert us from paying to 
God the homage he deserves, and induce us to deprive him of 
his due, proves that we do not fear him in good earnest, and 
make but small account of his invincible power, by which he has 
promised to protect us. "VVherefoi'e, Madame, in order to sur- 
mount all difficulties, lean upon the assurance which is given 
you from on high, after complying with all that God requires. 

These are the two points on which it behoves you to have 
your eyes constantly fixed, which should serve you even as 
wings to raise you above all the obstacles of the world : namely, 
to know what God commands you to do, and that he will never 
fail so to strengthen your hands that you will succeed in all you 
shall attempt in obedience to him. I know indeed the argu- 
ments that several bring forward to prove that princes ought 
not to compel their subjects to live in a Christian manner. But 
it is a dispensation far too profane — that which permits the man 
who will give up nothing that belongs to himself, to defraud his 
superior of his rights. If God's command does not move us, 
this threat should cause us to tremble ; every kingdom that will 
not be subservient to that of Jesus Christ shall come to nought. 
For that refers properly to the state of the Christian Church. 
Thus whatever fine excuses the persons produce who wish to 
colour over their own cowardice, I entreat you, Madame, to 
reflect seriously with yourself, and judge whether the empire 
of God should not be preferred to the honour which he has 


bestowed on you, and you will be able speedily to resolve this 

In the second place it remains for you to arm yourself with 
his promises that your faith may be victorious over the world, 
as says St. John, and here let me remind you of what is said 
by the prophet Isaiah and quoted by St. Peter, not to be alarmed 
by the terrors of the multitude, but to sanctify the Lord of 
Hosts that he may be our sanctuary. I know, Madame, how 
you are watched by your neighbour, who will not fail, if he can, 
to take an opportunity of raising disturbances,* but while you 
fear God you need not fear him. It will not be zeal which will 
actuate him, though he makes of that a false pretext. Seeing 
then that he is lying in wait for you, fortify yourself with the 
best defence you can have, and if God permits that the wicked 
make efforts to do you some despite, call to mind the memorable 
history of Hezekiah, for though God gave loose reins to his 
enemy to assail him soon after he had done away with super- 
stitious rites, and even though Rabshakeh had cast in his teeth 
that God would not aid him, seeing that he had overthrown the 
altars, yet for all that the admirable succour which suddenly 
came to him from heaven is a sufficient example for you to set 
at defiance all those who fancy they shall have any advantage 
over you under colour of the changes you may introduce. 

I do not say however, Madame, that all can be done in one 
day, God has given you prudence to judge of what proceed- 
ings you shall have to adopt, circumstances also will teach you 
what shall be the most suitable means ; and as I cannot enter 
into every detail on paper, I have left to the bearer to explain 
more fully to you my opinion on the greater number. I have 
chosen him as the person most fitted for such a mission that I 
could find, and I trust that from experience you will find that 
he deserves this character.^ I have obtained from our society 

' The ferocious Monluc, GoyerDor of Guienne and Gascony. He had ravaged these 
two provinces with fire and sword in order to pacify them. " I resolved," says he 
in his memoirs, " to cast from me all fear and apprehension, and make use of every 
act of cruelty in my power." It is well known that he kept his resolution. The 
states of the Queen of Navarre were threatened on the one hand by Monluc, and by 
Philip II. on the other. 

"The minister Raymond Merlin, who had been restored the year before to tho 
Church of Geneva, by the Admiral de Coligny. See p. 224, note 2. 


as well as from our seigneury, that you should have the ad- 
vantage of his services for the time that you have asked him, 
and all of them have willingly acceded to the request. I have 
only one remark to make, however, Madame, which is that you 
will find it far more easy to begin with those places which seem 
to you the most difficult ; that is, where the evil is most apparent. 
For the others will submit with less reluctance when you have 
secured one, and it will draw after it a long train. I need not 
apprise you that your presence on the spot will be especially 
necessary, as also that it will be proper to make such prepara- 
tions of every kind as that the enemy may be defeated or greatly 
weakened before matters come to an open struggle. 

If you are pleased, Madame, also to put in execution what 
you have deliberated about, viz: to send to the princes of 
Germany to beg and exhort them to continue their countenance 
to the cause of our Lord, that will be an act worthy of your 
majesty, and one of the highest advantage to Christendom. It 
will be necessary to address yourself to Augustus Duke of 
Saxony, to the Duke of Wurtemberg, and to the Landgrave of 
Hesse; and the sooner you set about it the better. I beg you 
then, Madame, to expedite this mission. The bearer will ex- 
plain by word of mouth all the rest. 

Madame, having very humbly commended myself to you, I 
will supplicate our heavenly Father to have you in his holy 
keeping, to govern you by his Spirit in all wisdom, to fortify 
you in virtue and constancy, and increase your majesty in all 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupuy. Vol. 102.] 

1563.] M. DE SOUBISE. 295 

DCXXXIX.— To M. DE SouBisE.i 

He exhorts him to lay down arms after the conclusion of a treaty disadvantageous to 

his party. 

Geneva, 5th April, 1563. 

Monsieur : — The time is come wlien God wishes to afflict 
you. Thus our duty is to fortify ourselves against temptation, 
however hard it may be. I shall not insist on this subject any 
farther, inasmuch as it would only be ripping up old sores. 
And, in fact, I know why you have directed the present bearer 
to me. It is to have my opinion how you ought to decide, when 
they shall come to put in execution what has been concluded 
without you. Now observe, that the question is not about deli- 
vering your sentiments in a council in which you should have a 
vote, for the matter is concluded and done. If you had been 
on the spot, it would have been your duty not to spare your 
life, in order to resist with all due liberty the evil they wished 
to accomplish. At present, the question is how you are to act 
in the execution of a decree which takes the subject out of your 
power. Here you must consider what you ought to do, and 
what you can do. I understand by what you can do, what God 
permits you to do, and nothing more. Now thus stands the 
case : you have been sent to your present government on the 
part of that unhappy man who, having by his vanity betrayed 
God, has thrown every thing into confusion.^ You have then to 

' To M. de Soubise, Governor of Lyons. Jean de Partenay, Seigneur de Soubise, 
son of Michelle de Saubonne, a lady of honour to Anne of Brittany, and governess of 
Renee of France. Instructed by Calvin himself, at Ferrara, in the Reformed faith, 
he fought in the ranks of the Protestant party which he honoured by his moderation 
and served with ability till his death (in 1567.) Appointed by the Prince of Conds 
governor of Lyons (May, 1562,) he kept possession of this town in spite of the reiter- 
ated attacks of the Duke of Nemours, commander of the Catholic army, and gave it 
up w'th regret only after the conclusion of the peace of Amboise. In this latter con- 
juncture he repeatedly demanded the counsels of Calvin. His letters to the Reformer, 
full of deference and respect, are signed : Your obedient son and faithful friend, Sou- 

' Impatient to recover his liberty, the Prince of Conde had hastened to sign the 
peace of Amboise, which introduced grave restrictions into the Edict of January. In 
his precipitation he had not even waited for the arrival of De Coligny, who loudly 
accused him " of having sacrificed the cause of God, and ruined more churches by 

296 M. DE SOUBISE. [1563. 

practise the doctrine of the holy Scriptures, which is, that if 
God takes away the sword from those he had girt with it, this 
change should make us give way and regulate our conduct ac- 
cordingly. Wherefore, I do not see that you have any reason 
or powei-, approved of by God, to resist a council of which it is ' 
impossible to say now that it is not legitimate. If it decide 
badly, since God is pleased to afflict us, let us stoop quietly to 
his will. For the rest, Monseigneur, here is the conduct, I 
fancy, you shall have to hold. I take it for granted, tliat be- 
fore the bearer of this letter reach you, M. de B ' will have 

communicated to you the object of his commission. The first 
thing you must do, then, will be to surrender your office of 
governor, both in respect to him and to the community. 

I leave to your own judgment, which on this point stands in 
no great need of instructions, what you shall have to do with 
regard to details. For it is impossible to specify in a letter, 
what, if I were present on the spot, I could do by word of 
mouth. I doubt not, however, but you will watch carefully over 
the interests of the city, and not allow it to fall into bad hands.* 
Only in suiFering what you cannot prevent, you will take care 
to demand a delay for many particulars which are not suffi- 
ciently well and duly ascertained. This delay cannot be inter- 
preted as an act of insubordination, nor is it possible that they 
can reproach you Avith wishing to impose conditions on your 
sovereign, when you grant the principal thing demanded, and 
ask only to have a sufficient and explicit declaration bafore 
any thing be put in execution.^ I know that this submission 
will be a thing which your people will be hardly brought to 

one stroke of his pen than all the united forces (of the enemy) could have overthrown 
in ten years." — Hist. EccL, vol. ii,, p. 335. 

' Le Sieur de Boucart, commissary of the king in DauphinS and Languedoc, pass- 
ing by Lyons "with ample instructions for the execution of the edict of peace." — 
Ibid., vol. ii., p. 242. 

"After having successively refused to give up the town to the Duke of Nemours, 
and to M. de Gordes, a nobleman of Dauphine, Soubise consented to surrender it to 
the Marshal de Vicilleville, who, by the moderation of his character, had known how 
to merit the esteem of both parties. — Ibid., vol. ii., p. 243, and De Thou. Lib. xxxiv. 

'Religious liberty was solemnly guaranteed to the Protestants of Lyons, and 
diverse places were assigned them for the construction of their temples, " which they 
afterwards built at great expense, and of which one was called Paradise and the other 
Flcur-de lye." — Ibid, 

1563.] BULLmGEK. 297 

digest. But I believe thej will, at last, consider what God 
permits them to do. On your side, I know that you will not 
fail in any one thing which you shall perceive to be lawful. 
But I have already declared to you that God having taken 
from us a worthless man has inflicted on us such a stunning 
blow that we must remain cast down till it please him to raise 
us up. 

Monsieur, having humbly commended myself to your indul- 
gent favour. . . . 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 


Treaty of Amboise — Strictures on this treaty concluded by the Prince of Conde with- 
out the approbation of Coligny and the principal Protestant chiefs. 

Geneva, 8th April, 1563. 

We have then been basely betrayed by the other brother also. 
He had promised by an oath, which he desired to be printed, 
that he would conclude nothing without the consent of his asso- 
ciates. Whilst he was clandestinely negotiating with the queen 
mother, he wrote to the governor of Lyons that he would leave 
the affair undecided till the return of the Admiral. Mean- 
while, he advises his mother-in-law to send away all the troops, 
and affirms that every thing has been settled. The woman, who 
has not much cunning, confessed this in a letter to me at the 
same time she endeavours to appease me by her flattering com- 
pliments. What fortunate results he has completely destroyed 
in one moment, you will learn, moreover, from the letter of 
Beza, who, nevertheless, did not venture to write all the cir- 
cumstances, nor what it was which disarmed us, even before 
this execrable treaty was generally known. The lust of power 
has entirely blinded the man. Meanwhile, he thinks he has 

' The death of Francis of Guise deprived the Catholic party of its chief, and deli- 
vered the court of a redoubtable protector. The queen regent profited by that circum- 
Btance to propose negotiations, accepted with too much facility by the Prince of Condfe, 
who was impatient to recover his liberty. These led to the treaty of Amboise. 


298 BULLINGER. [1563. 

achieved something important, because he is enrolled among 
the knights of the royal order, and exults in puerilities of that 
sort. But as God is wont to work in a marvellous manner 
through this infirmity, he will exalt his own power. 
The articles of this peace are the following : — 
1st. All nobles who are Barons, and all possessing a jurisdic- 
tion of life and death in their domains, or those who possess 
fiefs by a noble tenure, shall remain in their castles without be- 
ing molested in their conscience, and in the free exercise of the 
religion which they style Reformed, along with their families, 
and it is permitted to such of their vassals as of their own ac- 
cord, without being forced, may desire it, to join them in their 
worship. But the nobles not possessing jurisdiction shall enjoy 
that same liberty for themselves and their families, only provided 
they do not live in cities, towns, and villages, under the juris- 
diction of others ; in which case they shall not be permitted to 
exercise their religion, unless they obtain the consent of their 
seigneurs. The king, however, in his immediate domain con- 
cedes liberty to all. 

2d. In all the hailliages from which there lies an appeal to the 
courts of the Parliaments, one city shall be designated in the 
suburbs of which religious worship may be celebrated by all 
the persons of the same bailliage, who may wish to be present, 
but not otherwise. Every one, however, may remain perfectly 
at liberty in his own dwelling, nor shall he be molested, nor 
shall any inquisition be made after him, nor any violence ofiered 
to his conscience. 

3d. In all the cities in which religious worship has been cele- 
brated, up to the seventh day of the present month, except the 
other cities already designated, the same religious worship shall 
be exercised within the walls in one or two places, provided the 
persons exercising that religion be not allowed to apply the 
temples to their use. For all their property shall be restored 
to the clergy, that they may celebrate divine worship as they 
were accustomed to do, before the breaking out of the distur- 
bances. If any thing, however, shall have been ruined, the 
clergy themselves shall not be permitted to institute a process. 
4th. In the city of Paris, however, and within the precincts of 

1563.] BULLINGER. 299 

its jurisdiction, the exercise of the Reformed religion is not 
permitted. But those who shall remain there shall enjoy the 
peaceable possession of their property, nor shall it be permitted 
to molest or force them, nor harass them by any inquisition re- 
specting matters of conscience, either for what respects times 
past or future. 

5th. All cities shall return to their ancient condition, com- 
merce shall be free, all foreign troops shall be dismissed as 
soon as it may be conveniently done, and all subjects shall co- 
operate with all their influence to effectuate this object. 

6th. Every one shall be restored to his rights, privileges, 
immunities, state, honours, and functions of whatsoever kind they 
may be, and shall be preserved and protected in them, not- 
withstanding all processes, decisions, sentences, and decrees 
that have followed the death of King Henry, either for the 
cause of religion or on account of the taking up of arms in the 
cause of religion. For decisions of that sort shall be null and 
void, of no effect or value, so that under pretext of such decisions 
heirs shall not be barred from the tranquil possession of their 

7th. And that the Seigneur Prince of Cond^, Lieutenant 
General of the kingdom and Governor of Picardy, be freed from 
all anxiety, and that no reproach or odium be attached to him 
in time to come, and that he be declared a good relation and 
cousin and faithful subject of the king as he deserves to be by 
his proximity to the blood royal ; and further that all knights, 
nobles, gentlemen, burgesses, whether of cities or country towns, 
and in fine whatever may have adhered to his party in this war, 
whithersoever they may have carried their arms during these 
troubles, shall be declared and reputed to be faithful subjects of 
the king ; because it is fully recognized that whatever they have 
done up to the present moment, they have done with a good in- 
tention and in obedience to the king. Wherefore they are ex- 
onerated from all blame. 

8th. The said seigneur prince shall be relieved from all pe- 
cuniary obligations, and whatever by his orders may have been 
disbursed of the royal revenues, whatever may be its amount, 
the king shall place to his own account. He shall remain, 

300 BULLINGER. [1563. 

moreover, free and exempt from all law suits, prosecutions, or 
molestation, in all that concerns contributions levied upon cities 
or towns, silver vases taken from temples, ecclesiastical revenues 
and incomes, and whatever may have been expended in the 
present war — so that neither he, nor his friends, nor his agents 
may be called to give an account for the past, nor in time to 
come. Also that for coining of money, casting of cannons, 
manufacturing of gunpowder, building of fortresses, or devastating 
and demolition of buildings, no action shall be brought against 
them, demanding damages either from the prince himself, or 
from communities, or from individuals. 

9th. That all captives, whether by right of war or on account 
of religion, shall be dismissed by both parties with full liberty 
and without any ransom ; though in this category the king will 
not have robbers and assassins included, to whom the benefit of 
this treaty shall not be extended. 

10th. All injuries and damages committed during the present 
war, are held for the future to be effaced, extinguished, and 
buried in oblivion, and every one of whatever condition he may 
be, and to whichsoever of the two parties he may belong, is 
hereby interdicted on pain of capital punishment from injuring, 
provoking to quarrels, litigating, or insulting another, under pre- 
text of religion. 

11th. Those who profess the Reformed religion will break up 
all leagues they have contracted either within the kingdom or 
beyond its bounds ; nor shall they in future, impose taxes, or 
levy troops, or raise contributions in money ; moreover they 
shall hold no assemblies, or consistories, or public meetings, ex- 
cept for the exercise of religious worship. Amboise, 19th 
March, 1562. 

Thus signed with our own hand, 

And underneath: 

For the king in his council, 


You see, my worthy brother, to what we have been reduced 
by the inconsistency of one man ; for he might have obtained 


without any difficulty from the queen "whatever conditions he 
pleased, but he has voluntarily prostituted himself to the most 
abject obsequiousness. We are now anxiously looking out for 
the issue of all this. We have much reason to fear disturb- 
ances, in appeasing which I shall not cease to put forth every 
effort in my power. As soon as Beza shall be back, you will 
learn the more secret details of the proceeding. The Duke of 
Nemours is so seriously ill of an intermittent fever that the 
doctors despair of his life. The secretary of the royal deputy 
was at Deux Ponts. 

When the cardinal came there, he says that at a public 
banquet a very ancient and broad cup was produced, on which 
were carved verses, which confirm our doctrine respecting the 
Lord's supper, and that the cardinal gazed at the sight for a 
long time like one almost thunderstruck. 

Farewell, most excellent sir, and honoured brother. In my 
hurry I had almost forgotten that within the last two days I 
have received from you a couple of letters, one of which was 
accompanied with books for which I return you my thanks. I 
beg you to present my best respects to all your fellow pastors, 
to your sons and your sons-in-law. May the Lord preserve you 
all in safety. My colleagues and friends all salute you, espe- 
cially Jonvillers. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.\ 


He blames the conduct of the Prince of Conde, and deplores the condition of the 
French churches badly protected by the last treaty. 

Geneta, April, 1663. 

Madame : — The conditions of the peace are so much to our 
disadvantage that we have great reason to invoke God more 

 Without a date. Written after the conclusion of the peace of Amboise; that is, 
early in April, 1563. At a distance from France during the negotiations which were 
to end in the treaty of Amboise, the Comtesse de Roye could not exercise, in favour 


than ever that he would have compassion upon us, and remedy 
such extremities. One thing is certain, we must hold down our 
heads and humble ourselves before God who has admirable 
issues in his hand, though the beginnings are such as to asto- 
nish us. I cannot dissemble that every body is displeased with 
the prince for showing himself so accommodating, and still 
more so for being in such a hurry to conclude. It seems pretty 
evident, also, that he has provided better for his own personal 
safety than for the common repose of the poor brethren. But 
be that as it will, this single consideration ought to shut our 
mouths, that we know that it is the will of God again to exer- 
cise us. I shall always give my advice to abstain from arms, 
and that all of us should perish rather than have recourse, a 
second time, to the disorders which we have witnessed. I 
hope, Madame, that you will do all in your power to advance 
that which for the moment seems put back. I pray you, in the 
name of God, to make every effort. Nay, I imagine that the 
habitual rage of our enemies will so nettle the queen and those 
who heretofore were far from being favourable to us, that every 
thing will finally turn out well. It is thus that God knows 
how to make light arise out of darkness. This expectation 
alleviates, in some degree, my sorrow. But I do not cease for all 
that to pine away with anguish which consumes me since the news. 
Madame, having very humbly commended myself to your 
indulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have 
you in his holy keeping, and restore you sound and safe with 
your grand-children, whom God has honoured by making them 
pilgrims in a foreign land.^ This they will have occasion to 

of the Reformed party, the influence which her credit at court and the ascendency 
she possessed over the Prince of Conde assured her. She wrote from Strasbourg to 
Theodore Beza : — "I have had no other news from France, except the confirmation 
of that which was brought me by Millet, viz., that the queen and the prince give ex- 
cellent orders throughout all the provinces that peace be maintained. I have hopes 
that you shall see with God's help that all those who show themselves still refractory 
will be punished as they deserve. There arrived here yesterday a man from the 
court who assures me that the prince is welcome there, and that he daily has one to 
preach in the king's household, where he has a numerous audience. ... I am on 
my way to France, where I shall spare no pains that contribute to the advancement of 
the glory of God." — Letters of the 7th May, 1563, (Library of Geneva, vol. 196.) 

' The Comtesse de Roye had taken with her to Strasbourg the young children of 
the Prince of Conde, with the exception of the Marquis of Conti, then nine years of 


remember vfhen they come to a riper age, . . . with like . . . 
affection all theii- life.' 

[Fr. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 113.] 

DCXLII. — To THE Marquise de Rothelin.*^ 

He congratnlates ber on her firmness in the midst of troubles, and exhorts her to 


Gbneva, April, 1563. 

Madame : — Though since a year I have often had news of 
you, and such too as afforded me ample matter for rejoicing 
and praising God, nevertheless I am very glad to hear from 
your own letters what I could not so well comprehend from the 
accounts of others. True it is, you do not say any thing about 
those matters of which we have heard from other sources : namely, 
that in the midst of the greatest troubles you have never been 
either ashamed or afraid to confess that you belong to the flock 
of Jesus Christ; nay, that your house has been an hospital to 
receive the poor scattered sheep in which God has been glori- 
fied by the mouth of all his faithful ones. The humanity you 
have shown towards those who were afflicted for his name, has 
also been to him a pleasing sacrifice. If the wicked have been 
exasperated by it, it is enough for you to have the promise of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, that he who shall give a cup of cold water 
in his name to one of the least of his disciples shall not lose his 
reward. What has most delighted me, Madame, in your letters 

age, who remained at Orleans with the Princess of Conde, his mother. — Beza, vol. ii., 
page 11. 

' The concluding words of the letter are illegible. 

" Without a date ; written after the conclusion of the peace of Amboiso ; that is, 
in April, 1.563. Living in retirement during the first civil war, at the Chateau of 
Blandy, near Melan, the Marquise de Rothelin had not ceased to testify her attach- 
ment to the gospel which she publicly professed, along with the Duke of Longueville, 
her son, since the year 1561 : — '' The Duke of Longueville, a young man of the prin- 
cipal nobility and of great hopes, at the last festival of Easter, sat down along with 
his mother at the Lord's table, and fully abjured idolatry." (Beza to Calvin, 24th 
May, 1561.) The marriage of the Duke of Longueville, with Marie do Bourbon, 
widow of Francis of Cleves, Duke of Nevers, brought back this young man to the 
ranks of the Catholic party, whilst his mother remained invariably faithful to the Re- 
formed faith. 

304 M. DE CRUSSOL. [1563. 

is the hope that you give us of having the pleasure of seeing 
you here ere long, and if you find here wherewithal to alleviate 
your sorrows our satisfaction will be doubled. I doubt not but 
you have endured many vexations and torments, but we must 
always put in practice the doctrine which teaches us to lay all 
our cares upon God, and I know very well you do so. I shall 
add nothing more, reserving what I have principally to say for 
your arrival, which I pray God to accelerate. Since you have 
thought proper that our brother Pierre should go to your town 
of Noyers, we have decided upon that measure, and given our 
consent to his departure. 

Madame, having very humbly commended myself to your 
indulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to keep 
you under his protection, to fortify you more and more, and in- 
crease you in all good and prosperity. 

[Fr. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCXLIIL— To M. DE Crussol.1 

Sad condition of France, presage of new troubles — Double message to the Prince of 

Conde and De Coligny. 

Geneva, 1th May, 1563. 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — If I had the means of writing to you more 
frequently, it would not depend on my inclinations if I did not 
acquit myself of the duty. And, in fact, though the roads were 
blocked up, I did not fail to do so when it seemed to me there 
was a necessity for it, for without necessity I was unwilling to 

' Antony de Crussol, governor of Abbeville, and Montreuil, councillor of state, 
knight of honour of the queen mother, Duke of Uses in 1565, and peer in 1572, oc- 
cupies with D'Acier, his brother, an important place among the chiefs of French Pro- 
testantism. Appointed in 1661 Lieutenant General in Dauphine, Provence, and Lan- 
guedoc, with instructions to pacify the religious disturbances in these provinces, he 
acquitted himself successfully of this mission, and showed himself equally the faithful 
servant of the king, and sincere partisan of liberty of conscience. The violation of 
the Edict of January made him join the ranks of the Protestants. He fought va- 
liantly for their cause without entirely partaking their religious opinions, and did not 
lay down arms till the conclusion of the peace of Amboise. As well as the Chatil- 
Ions, Soubise, and the chiefs of the party, Antony de Crussol deplored the precipita- 
tion with which the Prince of Conde had signed a peace disadvantageous to the Re- 
formed churches. 

1563.] M. DE CRUSSOL. 305 

hazard a letter. As to the state of France, I see so much con- 
fusion on all sides that I am much afraid we shall be obliged 
more than ever to begin again. Not that the remedy was not 
easy, and in our own hands, had we but wished to make use of 
it, but you see the position in which we are at present. We 
have nothing else to do, then, but patiently to humble ourselves, 
waiting till God open up some way. Indeed, I doubt not but 
we shall ere long see some signs of his doing so. In the mean 
time, we must busy ourselves more courageously than ever, for 
God wishes to prove his followers by this blow, setting before 
them on the one hand great difficulties, and a second time fur- 
nishing them with an opportunity of employing themselves in 
good earnest in his service. Thus, Monsieur, I beg you to take 
courage. And since you see that God has done you the honour 
of setting you as an example and a mirror, you should spare 
nothing in his service. But I am so confident of your zeal in 
this respect, that I will spare you further exhortations. Nay, 
as I see that you have at heart that others should be exhorted 
to do their duty, I have written to the prince,^ for he also had 
furnished me an occasion by his letters brought to me by Theo- 
dore Beza. But excuse me if I have not adopted the style you 
could have wished ; for to make him believe that black is white, 
is a thing too much opposed to my natural disposition, and which 
it would be impossible for me to do. I have, likewise, answered 
the Admiral, begging him more privately to keep a firm hand 
on many things, not so much for the need he has of being sti- 
mulated, as because he begged of me to do this. "When he 
shall think proper to show the letters, there is no tartness in 
them that can give ofience, and there are some goads to prick 
on him who shall see them. 

Monsieur, having humbly commended myself to your indul- 
gent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have you 
in his keeping, to govern you in your undertakings by his Spi- 
rit, to fortify you in upright constancy, and increase you in all 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol.107.] 

' See the letter to the Princo of Conde, of the 10th May, a date later than that ou 
which it was written. 

306 MADAME DE CRUSSOL. [1563. 

DCXLIV.— To Madame de Crussol.i 

Wishes for the happy success of the journey to court, which she is about to undertal£e 

— Pious exhortations. 

Geneva, 8th 3Iay, 1563. 

Madame : — I write to you at random, not knowing whether 
my letters will find you in Languedoc, since the queen has 
written to Madame de Roye, that she would meet you at court. 
But as it is just possible that you may not have been ready so 
soon, I think it right not to omit an opportunity of acquitting 
myself of my duty, in declaring that I shall not forget to pray 
God to prosper your journey, and wherever you may be to guide 
you by his Holy Spirit, in such wisdom that you shall never 
make more account of the world than of him. I know that he 
has hitherto derived good services from you, but you can^ never 
during the whole course of your life perform the hundredth part 
of what you owe to him every single day. Wherefore, Madame, 
bethink yourself how you can pay your arrears, that you may 
show by deeds it is no vain pretence when we protest that we 
wish to separate ourselves from all filthiness and pollution, in 
order to dedicate ourselves purely to our Lord Jesus Christ, who 
died and rose again that we might live and die in obedience to 

'Louise de Clermont, Comtesso de Tonnerre, wife of Antony de Crussol, and lady 
of honour to Catherine de Medicis. She added to much intelligence, a lively wit and 
promptness in repartee, as the following anecdote will show. A few days before the 
colloquy of Poissy she was present along with the Queen of Navarre and the princes, 
at a private interview between Theodore Beza and the Cardinal of Lorraine : " The 
said Cardinal caressing Beza, pronounced these words : I am delighted to have seen 
and heard you. I adjure you in the name of God to confer with us that I may hear 
your reasons, and you mine, and you will find that I am not so black as people have 
represented me . . . This remark being made, the lady of M. de Crussol, who does 
not scruple to say what she thinks, observed that they ought to have paper and ink 
to make the Cardinal sign what he had said and avowed, for, added she, to-morrow 
he will say quite the contrary. In this observation she was found to have guessed 
rightly." Hiet. EccL, vol. i. p, 197. This same trait is related somewhat differently 
in a letter of Beza's to Calvin : "Madame do Crussol has proved a prophet, for hold- 
ing the Cardinal by the band, she said to him aloud; Good natured man this evening, 
but to-morrow what?" 25th August, 1561. (Geneva, vol. 117.) 


Above all, Madame, because I fear lest you be solicited to 
swim between two currents, I entreat you to be on your guard, 
for when the matter in question is how to glorify God he cannot 
endure any neutrality. Nay more, what might have been 
tolerated formerly is now no longer permitted you, for you have 
advanced so far that you cannot go back without running the risk 
of a mortal fall. Now though this exhortation is superfluous in 
respect of you, still I have wished to confirm you, almost un- 
necessarily, in your good zeal, that you may know the desire I 
have to see you holding on constantly in the right way, and that 
I may have wherewithal to praise God and rejoice in the cares 
I bestow on your salvation. 

Madame, having humbly commended myself to your indulgent 
favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to maintain you 
always under his protection, and enrich you more and more with 
the gifts of his Spirit. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCXLV. — To THE Prince Porcien.^ 

He exhorts him to glorify God in life as in death. 

Geneva, J/ay, 1563. 

MoNSElGNEUR : — Though hitherto I have not written to you, 
I have not ceased to entertain towards you the respect which 
you merit, and a wish to employ myself in rendering you a 
service, desiring that God would furnish me the means of doing 
so ; for I cannot be his servant without loving and honouring 

' Antony de Cro'i, Prince de Porcien, one of the most brilliant seigneurs of the court 
of France, attached himself at a very early period of life, to the cause of the Refor- 
mation and the party of the Admiral de Coligny. Mixed up in an active manner with 
the first civil war, he signalized himself by his valour at the battle of Dreux, kept up 
after the conclusion of the peace, a correspondence with Calvin and Theodore Boza, 
and died of poison, it is said, at the age of twenty-six. There exists in the archives 
of Colonel Tronchin at Lavigny, a fine epistle of consolation addressed by Theodore 
Beza to his widow Catherine of CleveS, Comtesse d'Eu. She contracted a second 
marriage with Henry de Guise, called the Balafre, and abjured the Protestant faith 
upon forming this new alliance. 

308 . THE PRINCE PORCIEN. [1563. 

the choice virtues which he has implanted in you. But as I 
could do nothing better, I have contented myself till now with 
 holding you in my remembrance, praying our heavenly Father 
to preserve and increase in you the gifts of his Spirit. I am 
then so much the more delighted, having heard from the bearer 
who is in your service, that of your kindness you have given me 
an opening to do what I did not dare though I had a very great 
desire. I thank you humbly then, Monseigneur, for having 
deigned to let me know the favourable dispositions you cherish 
in respect of me ; not only because I put a high value upon 
standing well in your opinion, but also because you have fur- 
nished me with an opportunity of declaring how much I am 
your affectionate servant. However, inasmuch as I have no 
other means of demonstrating my disposition of mind towards 
you, except in procuring your salvation, and in applying to that 
end whatever faculties God may have bestowed on me, it is to 
that object I shall have recourse, praying and exhorting you, 
Monseigneur, in the name of God, to take courage and pursue 
what you have so well and so happily begun. For some time 
you have been for a man of your rank and quality put to the 
severest tests, and God has given you that invincible courage 
which has enabled you to stand them all. This has been an 
excellent proof of your faith. But you cannot be too much re- 
minded that this is not the end, and that there still remain many 
temptations against which you will have to do battle. For our 
Christian life is not only shown in bearing arms and exposing our 
bodies and wealth in order to maintain the quarrel of the gospel, 
but also in subjecting ourselves entirely to the obedience of Him 
who has bought us at so dear a pric6, that he may be glorified 
in our life as well as in our death. Here it is then, Mon- 
seigneur, where we are called to persevere, in not becoming 
weary, not only of fighting with the sword against invisible 
enemies, but against everything that might turn us aside from 
walking in the right path. What is more, besides that we are 
so frail in ourselves, and have inward combats infinite in number 
to maintain, the devil fails not to raise up against us .many 
crosses, either to make us turn bridle or become lukewarm. 
Thus when we think of repose let us only look up to heaven, 

1563.] THE PRINCE OF CONDE. 309 

even though God give us here below a long period of respite. I 
say not this from any feeling of distrust, because I am convinced 
that God, who has given you such excellent tokens of his good- 
ness, will never abandon you. But you feel by experience, 
Monseigneur, that we can never be too well fortified in order to 
resist so many temptations, by which we are incessantly assailed. 
Nevertheless doubting not but you diligently exercise yourself 
in reading and hearing the holy exhortations which should serve 
you for sword and armour, I shall pursue this topic no further. 
I know not if God will ever grant us the blessing (of which you 
give us some hope) of one day seeing you in this world; but the 
main point is that we should all be assembled in his eternal 
kingdom. I long notwithstanding to enjoy this accessary 

Monseigneur, having very humbly commended myself to your 
indulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have 
you in his holy keeping, to fortify you more and more by his 
power, and increase you in all good and prosperity. 
[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCXLYL — To THE Prince of Conde.' 

Instructions respecting the greatest advantages to be derived from the treaty of Am- 
boise — The sending off of a confession of faith to Germany — Alliance with Swis- 
serland — Recommendation of Geneva. 

Geneva, 10th May, 1563. 

Monseigneur : — I have no need on the present occasion to 
present you with any lengthened excuses for having delayed so 

' Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Conde, chief of the illustrious house, forming a col- 
lateral branch of the monarchy, and which was destined to give to France the great 
Conde, and become extinct in the person of the Duke d'Enghien. The rival of the 
Guises and early gained to the cause of the Reformation, by the influence of his mo- 
ther-in-law, the Comtesse de Roye, the Prince of Conde was imprisoned after the 
conspiracy of Amboise, condemned to death, and restored to liberty by the death of 
Francis II. Having become from that period the avowed chief of the Protestant 
party in France, he supported the Reformation with his credit in the councils of the 
king, and with his sword at Dreux, St. Denis, and Jarnac, where he was assassinated 
in 1569. Arbiter of peace, after the death of the Duke of Guise, and having it in 
his power easily to conclude one that would have been advantageous to the Reformed 

310 THE PRINCE OF CONDE. [1563. 

long to write to you, since I was precluded, for want of means, 
from acquitting myself of that duty. And even at present I 
am afraid that the routes are far from being safe. But since 
you have graciously anticipated me, by your letters brought to 
me by my brother M. Beza, I am ashamed to delay any longer, 
especially having an opportunity in the bearer who is obliged 
to undertake a journey to court. 

Respecting the conditions of the peace, I know very well, 
Monseigneur, that it was not easy for you to obtain them such 
as you could have wished. Wherefore, if many people desire 
they had been better, I pray you not to think it extraordinary, 
for in that respect they are exactly of your own opinion. 
Meanwhile, if God has thrust us back more than we imagined, 
it is our duty to humble ourselves under his hand. Be that as 
it will, as I doubt not but you have striven as much as it lay in 
your power to advance the kingdom of God, and procure the 
repose and liberty of the churches, I also hope, and am per- 
suaded, that for the future you will continue to bring every 
thing to a better state. Nevertheless, Monseigneur, I pray you 
not to take it amiss if on my part I solicit you to that effect, 
considering the difficulties by which you are environed. In the 
first place, if you do not make good by your authority what 
has been concluded to the advantage of our brethren, the peace 
will be like a body without a soul; and experience has already 
proved to you how audaciously the enemies of God undertake to 
do evil, unless they be vigorously resisted. Next, without any 
one saying a word to you, you see sufficiently, in your wisdom, 
Monseigneur, how many people are watching for an opportunity 
of getting the upper hand. You know their manoeuvres; if you 
give them leisure to surprise you, they will not fail to profit by 
it, and when once they have their foot in the stirrup, it will be 
no longer time to wish to restrain them. That should induce 
you to take steps for being so well supported in the direction 
of affairs, that the door may be shut against all opponents who 

churches, the Prince of Oonde did not know how to resist the perfidious seductions 
of the queen mother, and signed on the 12th March, 1563, in opposition to the opi- 
nion of seventy-two ministers assembled at Orleans the convention of Amboise which 
contained grave infractions of the Edict of January. This fault, bitterly blamed by 
Coligny, was judged with no loss severity by the Reformer. 

1563.] THE PRINCE OF CONDE. 311 

>vant to breed mischief. In the mean time, there will be seve- 
ral means of enlarging the course of the gospel. I am per- 
fectly aware, Monseigneur, that all cannot be done in a day, 
but I think, in order to let slip no opportunity, you will do well 
to remember the proverb — " tvhat is soonest is best,'' for fear they 
hatch new plots to dissipate all we have gained, when we fancied 
that every thing was going on favourably. And it is at this 
moment that you should labour more than ever, since God seems 
to be holding out his hand to you, and as he has done you the 
inestimable honour of charging you to maintain his quarrel with 
your sword, it seems also that he has reserved other means for 
bringing to perfection what he has been pleased to commence. 
Since, then, it is his will to try and exercise us in diverse man- 
ners, you have the greater occasion to quit yourself manfully, 
without sparing any thing, that you may prove yourself more 
worthy in his sight. 

I have also another point to touch upon, Monseigneur. Be- 
fore the Imperial diet was held at Frankfort, to which you sent 
M. de Passy,' I was required and exhorted by M. d'Andelot to 
draw up a short confession in your name, that it might be pre- 
sented to the diet.^ I drew it up as God gave me means.^ The 
Count of Beauvais^ having seen it, could have wished very much 
it had been signed. But neither Madame de Boye, nor M. de 
Soubise, could find means of putting it into your hands. At 

' In November, 1562. The former Bishop of Nevers, now become a minister of the 
gospel, was charged with the mission of justifying before the Emperor, the recourse 
which Conde had to arms, and of refuting the calumnies spread in Germany 
about the Reformed churches of France. — Hist. Ecel., vol. ii., p. 152, and the follow- 

' The following is the passage of D'Andelot's letter to Calvin : — "Fur the rest, in 
handling the affairs of this country, I have discovered that it is very expedient that the 
Prince of Conde, and the other principal seigneurs, . . . should cause to be drawn up a 
confession of faith, signed with their names, to be presented by some notable person 
to the emperor, the electors, and other princes and seigneurs of Germany. And, as 
you know well, that it is impossible but that in so large an assembly there must be 
great diversity of opinions, I pray you most affectionately to take your pen and draw 
up tlie said confession of faith, so that the honour of God and the purity of the gos 
pel being maintained, the ears of so many great princes may not be scandalized by it. 

s This was the confession of faith, in the name of the Reformed churches of France, 
drawn up during the war to be presented to the Emperor in the diet at Frankfort, 
1562. — Opuscules, p. 1991, and Hist, Eccl., vol. i., p. 156. 

* Odet, Cardinal de Chatillon. 

312 THE PRINCE OF CONDE. [1563. 

last, I sent it to you by a poor lad, but he arrived too late. 
Thus this opportunity is gone by, though it appears to me that 
the said confession would not be unseasonable even now ; but, 
on the contrary, it would be productive of great advantages, 
both within the kingdom and without. For the rest, it would 
be necessary to consult about changing the preface, and instead 
of being addressed to the emperor that it should be more gene- 
ral, and also without any particular mention of what relates to 
the incident of the war. If such a change should meet with 
your approbation, I have undertaken to apprise you where 
it would be proper to begin, as you will see by the copy which 
I send you. If you prefer to leave it such as it is, it would be 
necessary to prefix a brief advertisement by way of apology 
for its not having been produced at the proper time and place. 
As to the advantages which would result from it, I shall only 
say a word or two. You know, Monseigneur, that it would 
attract many poor ignorant people to have the patience to read 
about what otherwise they would reject. Thus it would be a blessed 
means of gaining an infinite number of persons, but we might 
hope for still greater fruits from it out of the kingdom, inas- 
much as many Germans who have been alienated from the 
French on account of the question of the Lord's supper would 
not abstain from casting a look at it, appearing under the sanc- 
tion of your name. In the mean time, that can only tend to 
procure you more favour. Besides, you ought to anticipate a 
danger which you have perhaps already felt in part, which is, that 
they will not cease to stretch nets to entangle you in the Confes- 
sion of Augsburg, a confession which is neither flesh nor fish, and 
is the cause of great schisms and debates among the Germans. 
Now, Monseigneur, having made such a declaration, you would 
have shut the door on all the importunities with which they 
could assail you, having always this word to reply, that you 
cannot retract the confession which you have made, unless they 
show you some reason why. I shall not give myself the trouble 
to protest that in this matter I am seeking but the glory of 
God, the common welfare of his church, and even your own 
honour, because I do not think that you deem me a man to 
consult only my own personal interests. Thus I shall wait for 


your answer to learn your good pleasure in order that I may 
obey what you shall command me. 

But one thing more : — As I have learned that they are treat- 
ing of an alliance in which the Swiss are included, I pray you 
for the good of the king to take care that this measure be vigor- 
ously pursued. I urge this because there were some difficulties 
that you might find tiresome. But when every thing is maturely 
weighed, such a cause is not to be given up slightly. I dare 
not recommend to you that this city of ours should be included 
in the treaty, though the seigneurs of Berne, our fellow-bur- 
ghers, have promised to aid us in that matter, the rather too 
that everybody clearly sees that it is the king's interest, and 
that he will incur an actual detriment if we were left out.^ I 
dare not offer my services, but it is enough that you shall always 
find me disposed, if you see that my co-operation can be of any 

Monseigneur, having very humbly commended myself to your 
indulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have 
you in his holy keeping, to conduct you by his Holy Spirit, 
fortify you with invincible courage, and increase you in all 
good and prosperity. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCXLYII. — To THE Duchess of Ferrara.* 

He congratulates her on her noble conduct amidst the civil wars — Exhorts her to 
keep her house free from all scandal, and recommends to her an ancient servant. 

Qenhva, 10th May, 1563. 

Madame : — I have experienced during these troubles arising 
from the war, in what confusion everything was plunged in 

' See page 166, note 1. 

"Living retired at Montargis during the first troubles, the Duchess of Ferrara there 
displayed the noblest character and knew how to conciliate the respect of ail parties. 
In spite of the threats of the court and of her son-in-law the Duke of Guise, she 
offered an asylum to the unhappy victims of the civil wars. " That was the cause," 
says an historian, "that towns and villages of the flat country all fled to Montargis, 
where several had been preserved from the commencement of the wars under the pro- 



France, tlie more that I have had no means of writing to you 
at a time when you stood more in need of it than ever. Now I 
hope that the communications are more open, and though for 
some time yet there will be robbers and bandits, yet at last God 
will provide a remedy for all disorders. And indeed if he did 
not interfere we should be in a worse state than before, for 
if those who are in authority do not put in execution all the 
provisions of the peace, advancing the honour of God still more 
than others oppose it, religion will be like a body without a 

I know, Madame, how God has strengthened you during the 
rudest assaults, and how by his grace you have courageously 
resisted all temptations, not being ashamed to bear the oppro- 
brium of Jesus Christ, while the pride o£ his enemies rose above 
the clouds. I know, moreover, that you have been as it were a 
nursing mother to those poor persecuted brethren who knew not 
where to betake themselves. I know that a princess, con- 
sidering things only with the eyes of the world, would have 
been ashamed and taken it almost for an insult that her castle 
should have been called God's hostelry. But I cannot do you 
a higher honour than in expressing myself thus, to commend 
and recognize the humanity which you have exercised towards 
the children of God who found a refuge with you. Oftentimes 
have I thought, Madame, that God had reserved such trials for 
your old age, that you might have an opportunity of paying him 
the arrears due to him for the timidity of times past. I speak 
after the manner of men ; for though you had done a hundred, 
nay a thousand times more, it would not pay a tithe of each 
day's debt you are continually contracting for the infinite bless- 
ings he continues to bestow on you. But what I mean is, that 
he has done you a singular honour in employing you in such a 

tection of the duchess, who being of the blood royal, and connected by aflBnity with 
the Guises, had had a special privilege. She and her ministers blamed those who took 
np arms in terms which rendered her and the Prince de Conde enemies, and this 
quarrel afforded a pretext for not paying her proper respect." D'Aubigne, Hiet. 
Univ., vol. i. p. 415. The peace having been signed at Amboise, Calvin wrote to the 
Duchess of Ferrara, and as he had formerly reproved her acts of weakness, he praised 
the constancy and magnanimity which she had displayed amid the most difBoult cir- 


duty, and making you carry his banner in order to be glorified 
in you, while you hospitably entertained his word which is the 
inestimable treasure of salvation, and afforded an asylum to the 
members of his son. So much the more then it is your duty, 
Madame, to preserve for the future your house pure and uncon- 
taminated that it may be wholly dedicated to him. And on 
this subject I cannot refrain from mentioning to you a cause of 
scandal of which I have heard rumours heretofore. 

There is a young man whom you have brought up and settled 
in marriage, who has dismissed his wife to keep up intercourse 
with a strumpet. I inquired of M. Biry, the circumstances of 
the affair, knowing that he was such an affectionate servant to 
you that you would not feel offended if I disclosed to him what 
people reported on this subject. He at first replied that you 
had taken pains to correct such a disorder. However, he at 
last avowed to me, that though there had been apparently some 
amendment, people did not know if it would last. 

I pray you, Madame, in the name of God to be vigilant in 
this and similar cases, to keep your household unsullied from all 
disgraceful stains, in order to shut the mouths of the ungodly who 
ask for nothing better than to blaspheme the name of God. 
And nevertheless, rejoice, as you have good grounds for joy 
amid so much sorrow, for it is no slight blessing that God has 
so approved of you as to choose you out in order to be glorified 
by your means. 

You will be pleased also, Madame, to excuse me for not having 
immediately satisfied your desire in sending you a preacher. 
But I shall not fail to occupy myself with this commission till 
you be provided with one. One cannot find at every instant 
such ministers as one could wish, and we are importuned from 
so many quarters that we scarcely know on what side to turn 
ourselves. At any rate you may count upon being served in 
preference to all others, and were you present here you would 
see that it is not without cause that I beg of you to have 

There is a private matter about which your eld servant 
Messire Francisco' has begged me to write to you. The subject 

" Francis Porto of the island of Candia, formerly professor of Greek in the Uni- 

316 , MONSIEUR DE SOUBISE. [1563. 

of his communication is this : Since you were pleased graciously 
to promise him that you would interest yourself in favour of his 
daughter, and do something towards procuring her a husband, 
as she is now of a marriageable age, he would fain know your 
good pleasure and what he is to expect from it. You know that 
I am not in the habit of soliciting you for any one, and were it 
for myself or any of mine I should not venture to do it. But 
since the person in question is your old servant, whom you were 
pleased to recommend to me, I did not dare to refuse his re- 
quest, more especially as he faithfully discharges his duty, and 
conducts himself to the satisfaction of all good men. On the 
other hand, his salary, like that of all of us, is so small, that it 
would be impossible for him to live upon it, did he not derive 
support elsewhere to enable him to cover his expenses. 

Madame, having- very humbly commended myself to your in- 
dulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to keep 
you always under his protection, to strengthen you with in- 
vincible courage, and increase you in all good and prosperity. 
[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCXLVIIL— To Monsieur de Soubise.' 

Counsels respecting the conduct he ought to hold in very diflScult conjunctures. 

Geneva, 25th May, 1563. 

Monsieur : — Both your letters found me in so bad a state 
of health that it was impossible for me to answer them sooner, 

versity of Ferrara. Banished from this town as a Lutheran he retired first to Venice 
and afterwards to Geneva, where he obtained the rights of citizenship as well as the 
chair of Greek literature in the Academy. He received during his old age numerous 
tokens of the affection of the Duchess of Ferrara, and died in 1581, leaving many 
writings which procured him the esteem of Joseph Scaliger. Senebier, Hist. Lift., 
vol. ii. p. 24. 

' See letter, page . Dissatisfied, as well as all his party, at the treaty signed by 
the Prince of Cond6, Soubise still hesitated to surrender Lyons into the hands of the 
king. The presence in Dauphine of Protestant troops, commanded by the Comtes of 
Beauvais and of Crussol, encouraged him to tempt again the fortune of arms. Cal- 
vin, in dissuading him from this latter measure, exhorted him to temporize. The 
arrival of the Marshal de Vicilleville, " a man of a peaceable disposition who had 


and even at present I know not if I shall be able to do it, inas- 
much as the pains, or rather the tortures, of a desperate colic 
do not give me a moment's respite. Wherefore, I pray you to 
excuse my brevity, for my bodily sufferings have in a manner 
stultified my mind. Having observed the current of your 
affairs, I always return to my old conclusion to see and judge 
what is lawful and what is possible. If the question were to 
fight in good earnest, I do not see by what title you could do 
so, since God has disarmed you. To put off and shuffle, I do 
not think right, and especially that you may have leisure to put 
to the proof what are the intentions and abilities of the two 
comtes to succour you, for without them I do not see how you 
can maintain your position. 

Besides, even if they should join you, you would still require 
to have some show of right on your side ; for to attempt any 
thing, unless we be called and warranted to do so, can never 
come to any good. I do not say that some just occasion may 
not be found, but hitherto I do not know of any, and that is 
the reason why I should not dare to advise you to decide upon 
making war at least till I be better informed. These means seem 
to me altogether inadequate, unless the Comte de Beauvais en- 
gage his associate to do more than I expect when I consider the 
character of both parties. I do not say, however, that you 
should quit the place at the very first summons, in order to 
throw yourself into the jaws of the wolf; but to act in direct 
opposition to the command of the king, I do not see that 
God permits you. What remains, then, is to reflect to what 
point excuses are admissible, both for your delay in laying 
down arms, and for your refusal to admit M. de Nemours as 
governor. I feel the importance of the inconveniences you 
allege, but for sole answer I stick to the saying of Abraham, 
God will provide for the matter, as indeed the apostle reminds 
us that he is faithful, and thus will not suffer us to be tempted 
above what we can bear. Into particulars I will not enter, ex- 
cept that it would be useful, in my opinion, to write to the 
comtes openly, offering to join them in all that will be found 

never shown himself partial during these troubles," put an end to the hesitations o^ 
Soubise, and caused Lyons to come again into the power of the king. 


proper to keep up their courage. I doubt not but you have 
■written to the Admiral, on account of your position which will 
serve as a summons to make him undertake the charge and so 
relieve you. 

Monsieur, having commended myself to your indulgent favour, 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCXLIX. — To THE Queen of Navarre.' 

Sending off ministers — Claiming of a debt contracted by the King of Navarre. 

Geneva, 1st June, 1563. 

Madame : — It has grieved me that the bearer did not find me 
in a condition to busy myself as I could have wished, in order 
to satisfy your holy desire ; but I have been tormented during 
fifteen days by colic of so extraordinary a kind, that all my 
senses and my intellect have been rendered almost useless by 
the violence of the pain. At present, though the complaint 
has not left me, it begins to assume a milder form which gives 

• Docile to the councils of Calvin, and without allowing herself to be terrified by the 
anathemas of Rome, and the threats of Spain, Jane d'Albret had courageously un- 
dertaken the work of reformation in her states. She abolished the worship of im- 
ages, forbade public processions, suppressed the monasteries, and transformed the 
churches into Protestant temples. The ecclesiastical lands were united to the domain 
of the crown, their revenues consecrated to the relief of the poor, and the education 
of youth. Missionaries of Beam and the Basques country preached the gospel in 
their own language. But their number was insufficient. By the cares of Calvin and 
Beza the society of Geneva, who had already granted Merlin to the Queen of Na- 
varre, associated themselves more actively in this work by sending off twelve minis- 
ters. So complete a revolution could not be accomplished without great difficulties. 
The genius of the queen happily triumphed over them. " I receive here," Merlin 
wrote to Calvin, "so many molestations that my health suffers. These molestations 
are not caused by the queen, for I can affirm that I have her constancy in admira- 
tion, and I entreat you to confirm it more and more by your letters. . . . They set 
before our eyes marvellous dangers at one time from a sedition of the natives of the 
country, at another, from the Spaniards, then from Monluc, and even from France. 
They spread about reports that the preparations for war are all made, in order to fall 
upon us if we make any innovations in religion. The constancy of the queen sur- 
mounts all that." — Letter of the 23d July, 1563. This religious revolution was com- 
pleted in 1574, and was crowned by the celebrated ordinances, a monument of the 
faith and the genius of the Queen of Navarre. 


me hopes of further relief. In short, however, my brother M. 
Beza, along with the society, has supplied my absence. The gen- 
tlemen of this city, also, having learned from me the recommen- 
dations which you addressed to them have prayed and exhorted 
us to acquit ourselves to the best of our abilities. At last, we 
have procured for you a dozen of men. If they are not in all 
respects as accomplished as we could have wished, I beg you, 
Madame, to have patience, for ministers are a merchandize one 
cannot lay one's hands on as easily as it were to be desired. 
At any rate, my colleagues trust that they will be tolerably 
proper and fitting to instruct the people to your satisfaction. 
Nothing remains, Madame, but to set them to work and to 
strengthen their hands, as your authority will be very requisite 
to arm and protect them against the keen opposition they shall 
have to encounter. For this purpose, Madame, you are duly 
warned that you yourself must be armed and fortified from on 
high, in order not to flinch, but to hold on to the end in your 
holy enterprise. When you shall have established some order, 
which will be ere long I hope, I very humbly entreat you to 
dispense with the services of our brother Merlin,^ whose ab- 
sence is felt by us, considering the smallness of our numbers. 

For the rest, Madame, with respect to the sum of which I 
have given you information : Here is how the matter stands. 
The late king, your husband, being at that time well disposed 
to the cause, and seeing himself involved in considerable em- 
barrassments, asked us if we could afford him some pecuniary 
relief. I bestirred myself so effectually that he was promised, 
on the part of this city, forty thousand franks. Before they 
could collect them, he sent to Lyons M. de Malligny, now Vi- 
dame of Chartres, whom he ordered to send him twenty-five 
thousand franks for certain expenses which he was about to 
incur, of which I despatched ten thousand to him at his own 
request. But when the time came round for the payment, I 
did not know in what direction to turn myself, for I have never 
been a man of finances, and I can assure you, Madame, that of 
the little I possess, which is almost nothing, I would willingly 
have stripped myself, even to the money which I required for 

' He returned the following year (1664) to Geneva. 

320 BULLINGER. [1563. 

the purchase of my daily provisions. But thank God, at last, 
the contribution was completed, which the late king, your hus- 
band, who had not yet been turned aside from us, promised M. 
Beza to liquidate, as the latter can certify. Wherefore, what • 
I say about it is not in order to be reimbursed of even one 
penny which I contributed of my own money, but to acquit 
myself of what I owe my friends who aided me in this strait, 
and also to clear up my honour. Madame, I would by no 
means importune you in any manner whatever, but I thought 
that at least you would not take it amiss to be informed of the 
truth of the fact, in order to take such steps as your humanity 
shall dictate, and as you shall see to be reasonable. 

Madame, having presented my very humble respects to your 
majesty, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to keep you 
always under his protection, to enrich you with the gifts of his 
Spirit, and increase you in all good and prosperity. 
[F7\ Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 


Sufferings of Calvin — News of the court and kingdom of France — Precautions against 

the Confession of Augsburg. 

Geneva, 2d July, 1563. 

The inconsiderateness of a worthy but thoughtless man obliges 
me to dictate these words in a hurry. Being about to send his 

' Rendered incapable of writing by multiplied sufferings, Calvin was obliged to 
resign himself not without regrets to the necessity of dictating his letters. His 
secretary, Charles de Jonvillers, assisted from that time in the occupations of his 
vast correspondence, as he himself informs us in an affecting letter to Bullinger: 
"When some years previously I saw M. Calvin almost succumbing under the burden 
of his correspondence, yet unwilling to employ an amanuensis, I entreated him to 
spare himself, and added that his letters would not be less cherished, though written 
by the hand of another, provided they were signed by his own hand. He replied 
that be was afraid that people might put a wrong interpretation upon it, or think 
themselves slighted, if he did not write letters with his own hand. I, in my turn, 
rejoined, remarking something which I thought to the purpose. At length, he 
allowed himself to be persuaded, so that now he makes use of the assistance of an- 
other."— (MSS. of Zurich, 10 Aug., 1565.) The last letters of Calvin to Bullinger are 
all in the handwriting of Charles de Jonvillers. 

1563.] BULLINGER. 321 

sons to your city he did not apprise me of his intention till the 
moment of their departure. At present, I am relieved from 
very acute suifering, having been delivered of a calculus about 
the size of the kernel of a filbert. As the retention of urine 
was very painful to me, by the advice of my physician, I got 
upon horseback that the jolting might assist me in discharging 
the calculus. On my return home I was surprised to find that 
I emitted discoloured blood instead of urine. The following 
day the calculus had forced its way from the bladder into the 
urethra. Hence still more excruciating tortures. For more 
than half an hour I endeavoured to disengage myself from it by 
a violent agitation of my whole body. I gained nothing by 
that, but obtained a slight relief by fomentations with warm 
water. Meanwhile, the urinary canal was so much lacerated 
that copious discharges of blood flowed from it. It seems to 
me now that I begin to live anew for the last two days since I 
am delivered from these pains. 

Of the state of France, I should have written to you with 
more details if I had been at leisure. At Lyons the churches 
have been restored to the priests. Four only have been left to 
us, of which one was obtained by craft, and under a false pre- 
text. The former governor of the city has been recalled, a 
man of a peaceable and mild character, detested by the Papists, 
because he is favourable to us. The godly are everywhere re- 
covering their courage. The enemies are still raising distur- 
bances in many places, and their fury breaks out in fires and 
massacres. It will proceed, at last, to such lengths that even 
their protectors will feel that they are implacable. The Consta- 
ble grows milder every day. Though the queen caresses the 
Prince of Condd, yet the versatile and crafty woman inspires 
us with but very little or no confidence. But though she is en- 
tirely destitute of sincerity, she would nevertheless comply with 
the prince, if she saw in him a prudent and magnanimous man. 
Though the Parliament of Paris has, at length, readmitted those 
counsellors who had taken to flight, many have nevertheless 
abdicated their functions. The chancellor is much ofi'ended at 
that, because he would wish to see in it as many persons as pos- 
sible favourable to our party. He therefore severely repressea 


322 BULLINGER. [1563. 

these resignations as much as it depends on him. The Admiral 
hitherto remains quiet. His brother is at court. It is with 
great difficulty that the Constable has been at length induced to 
lead an army against the English. Either the faint-hearted- 
ness and cowardice of Condd outstrips all belief, or we shall 
have some favourable change ere long. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and honoured brother. May 
the Lord prosper you and yours. Carefully salute all your fel- 
low pastors. My colleagues, who are now present with me, also 
salute you. I have retired for a moment from their society to 
dictate this letter to you. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

I am carefully on the watch that Lutheranism gain no ground, 
nor be introduced into France. The best means, believe me, 
for checking the evil would be that the confession written by me 
in the name of the Prince of Condd and the other nobles should 
be published,' by which Conde would pledge his good faith and 
reputation, and endeavour to draw over the German princes to 
our party. I am waiting for his answer. The Admiral is urg- 
ing him. If we could bring people to subscribe it, this proceed- 
ing would procure us some pleasant sport. Meanwhile, the con- 
dition of the churches is better than you imagine. They are 
permitted to make use of the confession presented to the king, 
as well as the catechism. In one word, things are strangely 
mixed up. There is no reason to fear, however, that the Pa- 
pists will admit the Confession of Augsburg, should it be offered 
to them a hundred times. As my commentaries on Jeremiah 
will be published about the time of the next fair, I have re- 
solved to dedicate them to the Prince Palatine. In my preface 
I have introduced an abstract of our whole controversy. So 
there is no doubt Brentz will have at me. 

The father of the boys who will deliver to you this letter 
begs me to recommend them to you. But he does not wish you 
to be put to any inconvenience on their account, only when an 
opportunity may present itself he would be delighted if you 

' See page 311. 

1563.] BULLINGER. 323 

inquired whether thej behaved modestly, and that you should 
make it your business that they be kept to their studies. 
[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 


News of France — Reply of Coligny and Theodore Beza to a calumnious accusation — 

Siege of Havre. 

Geneva, \'ith July, 1563. 

Since I wrote to you we have heard nothing new from France, 
except that God seems to turn children's sport into serious ear- 
nest. The Duke of Orleans,^ provoked by the petulance of a 
child of the Duke of Guise's, struck him with an arrow which 
he held in his hand. The boy ran immediately to his mother, 
and his mother to the queen, who advised her son after slightly 
reprimanding him to pardon young Guise. The Duke boldly 
replied, that he could never bring himself to endure the sight 
of him, and that not only he detested the boy, but the whole 
family which had been so fatal to the kingdom. The queen 
mother was thus obliged to send him out of her presence. But 
at Paris she encourages and inflames the furious passions of the 
people. Every day new disturbances are breaking out. The 
Parliament is entirely without authority. An armed rabble 
sets aside with impunity all its decisions. This is a very just 
judgment, that where robbers govern, licentiousness should pre- 
vail. Condd keeps silence. The Admiral makes apologies, 
saying he prefers remaining at home and waiting for a favour- 
able opportunity to throw himself into manifest danger. Since 
he, the Comte de Rochefoucaud and Beza have had their attention 
called to the assassin of Guise, they have published a common 
defence which was immediately presented to the king's council.^ 

' Henry, tbe third son of Henry II. and Catherine de Medici, afterwards Duke of 
Anjou, and king under the name of Henry III. 

' In a letter of Baza's to Calvin of the 8lh October, 1563, are the following words : 
That tyrannicide (rvpavvoKTonoi) Poltrot, in his trial, and even amid his tortures a 
hundred times declared me innocent of all participation in the murder of Guise. Dis- 


But because all men had not sufficiently got over their scruples, 
the Admiral published a declaration. If there is any good trans- 
lator among you, it would be very desirable that it were pub- 
lished in German for the time of the next fair. The book 
would be salable, so there would be no fear of the printer sus- 
taining any loss. But you would need to make haste. We 
entrust the affair to your wisdom, and that of your brethren. 
If you judge it expedient that it should be brought out, perhaps 
some means of doing it might be found among you. All things 
are still in a very peaceable state at Lyons. The priests con- 
duct themselves with moderation ; nay, fawn upon our brethren. 
They have only got up the representation of one mass as yet, 
and that too on a profane altar, for there was no consecrated 
one. At Montpelier, Nimes, and other cities, our brethren are 
still in possession of the churches, because no one of the oppo- 
site party ventures to claim them. In Normandy, Havre de 
Grace, which the English have occupied, is besieged.' That is 
all I have to add for the present to my former news. I beg 
that you and Gualter would superintend the publishing of the 
defence, if your time permit, and a good printer undertake it. 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and respected brother. You 
will salute all your colleagues in my name and that of my bre- 
thren, and your own family at the same time. May the Lord 
stand by you, govern you by his Spirit, and bless your labours. 

Yours, John Calvin. 

\Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

charged, in his turn, from all imputation, Coligny nevertheless thought it necessary 
to reply by a public declaration. — Memoires de Condd, vol. iv., p. 312. 

' This place had been given up to Elizabeth by the Protestants. They repaired 
their fault in assisting the Royal army to recover it. Every body knows the bon mot 
■which Brantome lends them : "We are foolish enough to take Havre from the Eng- 

1563.] BULLINGER. 325 


Disturbances at Rouen — Uncertainty respecting the projects of Coligny — Calm at 


Geneva, 29th July, 1563. 

I know nothing worth writing about except that the inhabitants 
of Rouen vie with the Parisians in audacity and perversity. 
One of the marshals was therefore sent to curb their fury, and 
procure our brethren some security. It would not be difi&cult to 
remedy all these disorders, nay they would disappear of them- 
selves, did not the queen by her clandestine arts foment them. 
She pretends indeed the contrary ; it is certain, however, that 
by her emissaries she is acting in such a manner as will enable 
worthless men to render by their profligacy everything unavail- 
ing that has been publicly decreed in the council of the king. 
Certes the impunity allowed to crimes sufficiently demonstrates 
that she approves of everything that has a tendency to crush 
us. What the Admiral intends I know not. Yesterday I had 
a letter from him in which he only lets Beza and myself know 
that very soon he will send an express messenger to inform us 
of his designs. From a letter of Soubise, who I conjecture was 
along with him, I learn that he still keeps away from court, 
partly because he is unwilling uselessly to expose himself to 
danger, and partly for fear he should be forced to take in hand 
the expedition against the English.^ The Comte of Lancy, 
Governor of Lyons, with whom I had previously no intercourse, 
congratulates me on the tranquil state of the city. But in the 
provinces they obstinately refuse to admit our brethren. In the 
long run they will have to be compelled by force of arras, and 
despair is driving them on to reckless courses. 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and respected brother. Best 
respects to all your colleagues, your wife, and your whole family. 
May the Lord preserve you all in safety. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

'See p. 323. 


Your friend Jonvillers respectfully and affectionately salutes 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCLIII. — To Monsieur de Crussol.^ 

Answer to some scruples expressed by this seigneur, 

Geneva, Slut July, 1563. 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — The person whom you charged to propose 
to me the scruples which you desired to have resolved has ac- 
quitted himself of his commission. Before I proceed to answer 
you, I thank God for having so touched your heart by his Spirit 
that you do not stretch your conscience to give yourself liberties 
as so many others do, who nevertheless after having excused 
themselves before men are constrained to condemn themselves 
before God. Now to come to the point, I know that you do not 
mean to disguise your sentiments, like one that wishes to swim 
between two currents. 

You only ask if having made a free and open profession of 
your Christian faith, it will be lawful for you to accompany the 
queen in certain processions as well as in other acts of idolatry. 
Whereupon, Monseigneur, you have to consider two things : first, 
not to grieve the children of God, or be a subject of scandal to 
them, or disgust the infirm or ignorant ; secondly, not to give an 
occasion to the enemies of the truth to raise their crests and 
triumph, nay, not even to furnish them a pretext for opening 
their mouths to blaspheme the name of God and turn into 
ridicule the true religion. We ought to be carefully attentive 
to these two considerations, as they are also strongly recom- 

' See the letter p. 304. Recalled to court after the conclusion of the peace this 
seigneur seemed to incline towards a public profession of the Protestant faith, as is 
proved by the scruples which he submitted to Calvin, and the directions he received 
from hiui. But he did not persevere in these sentiments and died a Catholic. D'Acier 
his brother, who succeeded him in 1573 in the title of Duke of UsSs, long persisted in 
the Reformed confession, which he nevertheless abandoned in the latter years of his 


mended to us. Since then the Holy Spirit expressly forbids 
you to grieve your brethren in this respect, reflect how many 
poor people there will be cut to the heart, when they shall see 
you parading with a band marching to do despite unto God. 
As to the scandal you see how great it will be, and how far it 
will extend. For many will shelter themselves under your ex- 
ample, even the hypocrites who till now have been ashamed of 
their cowardice will screen themselves under your vshadow. Ou 
the other hand, there can be no doubt but you will make proud 
the ungodly, not only to despise the gospel, but also to harden 
themselves in their cruelty towards those who shall be unwilling 
to square their sails to the wind. In one word, the more you 
shall consider all the circumstances, the more you will conclude 
that God would be offended in divers ways by such conduct. 
There remains but the example of Naaman. But the difference 
is so great here between the persons, that you cannot apply 
what was done by him to your case. 

There was nobody but himself in the land of Syria, who feared 
God or had any devotion to his service, wherefore there was no 
danger of scandal. No true believer could be grieved that he 
had exposed to disgrace the true religion. He could not 
turn aside those who were already in the good way, nor dis- 
gust others from entering upon it. On the contrary he irritated 
his whole nation by having an altar apart to worship the God 
of Israel. The main point here is not to adhere to the literal 
fact, but to consider what edification is to be derived from it. 
The rest is to see if for that you should rather abandon the 
state than not show complaisance to the queen. In this matter 
we should hold by the rule of St. Paul, not to do evil that good 
may come of it. I see very well what advantages may accrue 
to the church from your occupying your present post, and what 
detriment we should have to fear if you gave it up. But in 
such perplexities we should do God the honour of putting full 
confidence in him, trusting that he will know how to provide for 

Nevertheless it seems to me that you might have a sufiiciently 
feasible excuse, since the queen is not ignorant, that according to 
the religion you hold, you cannot mingle in their ceremonies with- 


out offending God, because your conscience condemns them. What 
is more, I trust she will find your courageous independence pre- 
ferable to a mean act of condescension. For she has suffered 
you to be long absent, she will then permit you to be ill during 
three days in the year. I do not say that, however, by way of 
cunning artifice, for to feign illness would be a disgrace to the 
gospel. When you shall have weighed all these circumstances, I 
doubt not but you will conceive with St. Paul, that we cannot 
be partakers of the Lord's supper, and show ourselves among 
idolatries, especially when we should thus set a bad example. 
But I entreat you, Monseigneur, to quit yourself like a man, 
and pray God to strengthen your hands, and clothe you with 
the armour which he has given you, to do battle constantly, that 
is, to exercise yourself diligently in his word. 

Monseigneur, having presented my humble commendations to 
your indulgent favour and that of your wife, I will pray the 
Father of mercies to have you in his keeping, to guide you 
prosperously and grant you a happy arrival. 
Your humble servant, 

John Calvin. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCLIV. — To THE Admiral Coligny.' 

Communications respecting the printing of a memorial — Wishes for the prompt re- 
turn of the Admiral to the court 

Geneva, 5th July, 1563. 

Monseigneur : — Having received your letters from the Seig- 
neur de Verac, we readily perceived that there had been a mis- 

' On the back: d Monsieur I'Amiral. 'Without the date of the year: 1563. The 
attention of the whole of Europe was occupied during several months by the process 
between the Guises and Coligny, in consequence of the assassination of the Duke of 
Guise at Orleans. This crime, the work of a fanatical sectary who had taken counsel 
only from himself, was imputed to a whole party. Poltrot himself in his interrogatory 
had designated the Admiral as the instigator of this assassination, but he continually 
varied in his depositions, and made a solemn retractation before his death. The noble 
character of the Admiral should have set him above all such suspicions. He thought 


take respecting the printing of your reply. But the excuse is 
not difficult, so far as we are concerned. For having heard 
that the copy which you sent might he already published, and 
that thus any diversity might have been found bad, though the 
advertisement came very late, nevertheless we put off till we 
had letters from you in which you made no objection, and thus 
we thought that your intention was that we should not mind it. 
So we proceeded. Now, since the arrival of the Seigneur de 
Verac, we could do nothing better than to prepare actively for 
having the said answer translated into Latin and German. We 
thought it preferable to defer printing in French the copy which 
he has brought us till the return of our messenger. At present, 
we shall use dispatch that you may be satisfied as soon as pos- 
sible. There is one evil more, which is, that a part of the first 
impression was sold. The rest shall be kept locked up. 

We are very sorry the journey of the Comte^ has been re- 
tarded, because it was very desirable that he should arrive at 
court. But we see very well that he had good reasons for his 
conduct, in order not to expose himself to danger, and also to 
sound people's dispositions of mind which were uncertain. If 
the answer is such as we desire, it will contribute greatly both 
to his safety and your own, and will prepare the way for your 
adopting some more certain decision. 

Touching the Cardinal's hat,^ we know very well that it is not 
a thing of such importance as many people would make it. But 
you are aware we cannot altogether exculpate him, nor under- 

it his duty, nevertheless, to reply by a public declaration to these calumnious impu- 
tations spread about by bis enemies. It is the answer of which the Reformer makes 
mention and which one may read: Mist. EocL, vol. ii., p. 291, and the following. 
Printed at Paris and Geneva, translated into Latin and German, this piece was dis- 
seminated all over Europe. 

' Francis, Comte de Rochefoueaud, and de Roucy, Prince of Marsillac, one of the 
principal chiefs of the Protestant party. Incriminated like the Admiral, then excul- 
pated in the depositions of Poltrot, he perished like him in the massacre of St. Bar- 

" Allusion to Odet de Coligny, Cardinal of Chatillon. After his conversion to the 
Reformed faith this prelate had laid aside the name and dress of his ecclesiastical 
dignity, and assumed the title of Comte de Beauvais. Excommunicated by the Pope, 
ho put on the costume of a Cardinal in great ceremonies, to show his contempt for 
the Pontifical censures. He went farther still. He married, and wore his Cardinal's 
dress on his marriage Uuy. 

330 • THE ADMIRAL COLIGNY. [1563. 

take the defence of his cause, as really in conscience we can- 
not help saying that there was a certain degree of levity in his 
conduct in that matter. It will be sufficient, we think, if some 
persons should be too violently offended at it, to moderate their 
zeal and humble a little those who should make war on him for 
that reason, so that without approving the deed we may show 
them that it is pardonable, and that we should not cease to esteem 
him, as he deserves, the less on that account. As for yourself, 
we thank God that you have resolved to go to court as soon as 
the Comte shall have arrived there and informed you that you 
run no risk, for we have learned by your absence from it how 
profitable it would have been had you always remained there. 
It seems even that every thing must go from bad to worse if 
God do not speedily prevent it, which we trust he will do by 
means of you. Thus persuaded that he has reserved you for 
this purpose, we entreat you most earnestly not to let slip any 
opportunity. For your presence, at any rate, will impose upon 
your enemies. 

Touching the alliance, we defer to another time to speak of 
it, for at the present moment you could not undertake any thing 
on that subject. 

Monseigneur, having humbly commended myself to your in- 
dulgent favour, we supplicate our heavenly Father to keep you 
under his protection, to fortify you by his power, and increase 
you in all prosperity. 

Your humble servants, 

John Calvin — Theodore Beza.' 

[Fr. Orig. Autog. — Library of Paris, Bethune, 8702, p. 76.] 
• The name of Beza is in Calvin's handwriting. 

1563.] MADAME DE COLIGNY. 331 

DCLV. — To Madame de Coligny.' 

The Christian uses of sickness. 

Geneta, 5th, Avgvst, 1563. 

Madame : — That my letters were sent off without having my 
signature affixed to them did not occur so much from any stu- 
pidity or negligence of mine as from the too great haste of M. 
Beza, who took them from me while I was ill, and without look- 
ing whether they were signed and dated, folded them up and 
put them in the parcel. But it is enough that you know whence 
they came, for my handwriting would scarcely have added any 
thing to their gracious reception. However, another time I will 
pay more attention. For the rest, Madame, I thank God who 
has put you in the way of recovery from an illness which we 
had great reason to fear might have been mortal, although I 
confess I had no inquietudes on that score. Nevertheless, I 
did not fail to have you in remembrance, for it is but just that 
both the Admiral and yourself should be objects of the deepest 
interest to all true servants of God, in the number of whom I 
hope to be reckoned, though I am more than unworthy of that 
honour. You know, Madame, how we should turn to our pro- 
fit both the chastisements we receive from the hand of our mer- 
ciful Father and the succour which he sends in time of need. It 
is certain that all diseases ought not only to humble us in set- / 
ting before our eyes our frailty, but also cause us to look into 
ourselves, that having recognized our own poverty we may place 
all our trust in his mercy. They should, moreover, serve us for 
medicines to purge us from worldly affections, and retrench what 
is superfluous in us, and since they are to us the messengers of 
death, we ought to learn to have one foot raised to take our de- 
parture when it shall please God. Nevertheless, he lets us 
taste of his bounty as often as he delivers us from them, just as 
it has been a most salutary thing for you, Madame, to have 

' Written at the same time as the preceding, after a serious illness of Madame 


known the clanger in which you were and from which he has deli- 
vered you. It remains for you to conclude with St. Paul that 
when we have been delivered from many deaths by his hand, he 
will also withdraw us from them in time to come. And thus 
take courage, so much the more to give yourself up to his ser- 
vice, as you do well to consider that it is to that end he has re- 
served you. I am very glad that the Admiral thinks of going 
to court, on the first occasion that will present itself. I hope 
that this journey will be productive of much good, and in divers 
ways, and we pray God also to make it prosper. 

Madame, having humbly commended myself to your indul- 
gent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to keep you 
always under his protection, to enrich you with his spiritual 
gifts, and to conduct you always, in order that his name may 
be glorified in you. 

[Fr. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 


Ho exhorts her to show herself firm in the profession of the faith and patient in 


Geneva, 28tA August, 1563. 

Madame : — Though I have never written to you hitherto, it 
was not for want of devotedness to occupy myself in doing you 
a service. I have you also in remembrance before God, as my 
duty requires. But because my letters cannot much benefit 
you, and my brother M. Beza, moreover, can amply discharge 
his own duty and mine too towards you, I have put off writing 
to you. But, at last, fearing that I might be too neglectful, I 
have resolved to defer doing so no longer. 

Now, Madame, I thank God, in the first place, for the con- 

" Franfoise d'Amboise, wife of Charles de Croi, Comte of Seninghen, and mother 
of Prince Porcien and of the Marquis de Reuel deserves a place beside the Comtesse 
de Roye, the Marchioness of Rothelin, and Madame I'Amirale de Coligny, among the 
illustrious ladies of the Reformation in France. She died in 1565. The Marquis de 
Reuel, the eldest of her sons, was in the number of the victims of the St. Bartholo- 


stancy lie lias bestowed on jou which has kept you from being 
shaken by the troubles which have taken place in France. 
By your perseverance you have shown that your faith was 
well grounded, and had taken such deep root as not to be im- 
paired. You have still to take courage for the future, for 
though the assaults are not so rude as those we have witnessed, 
the devil has many ways of turning aside the children of God 
from the right path, were it but the bad examples with which 
we are surrounded on all sides. Several are fickle, some alto- 
gether profane; some become lukewarm, others are fond of 
luxury, and others again give themselves up to a dissolute man- 
ner of life. In a word, everywhere we meet with stumbling- 
blocks. For that reason, you have the more need to be ever on 
the watch, and to fortify yourself, so that you may be, as it 
were, a mirror to bring back to the good way those who are in 
train to stray from it. 

In the mean time, I hear that God exercises you in order that 
you may put your patience in practice, and place your life en- 
tirely in his hands, for as much as you are weak in body and 
afflicted with many diseases, of which I too have my share to 
exercise me in the same manner. But however that may be, 
we have great cause to be satisfied that in our languishing we 
are supported by the strength of God's Spirit, and moreover, 
that if this corruptible tabernacle is falling to decay, we know 
that we shall be very soon restored, once and for ever. But 
however that may be, we have occasion to know better the value 
of the gospel, and that there is no repose nor satisfaction for 
us in this world. 

Madame, having humbly commended myself to your indulgent 
favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to fortify you by 
his power, to keep you under his protection, and increase you 
in all good and prosperity. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.1 

334 BULLINGER. [1563. 


Taking of Havre from the English — Majority of King Charles IX. — Movements of 

the Duke of Savoy. 

Geneva, 9th September, 1563. 

If your neighbours' make so much ado and utter such vaunts, 
I am surprised that you make yourselves weary at such trifles 
which are rather matter of contempt, not deserving that vre 
should attach any real importance to them. For in what place 
they displayed those warlike arts of theirs is a thing quite un- 
known in France, Two companies had been placed in garrison 
at Orleans. Our men wakened up some drowsy fellows among 
them, but without effusion of blood. Up to this moment they 
have remained there very peaceably. At present, their most 
active exploits consist in preying on the provisions of the vil- 
lages, on which they pounce like so many starving thrushes. 
Those who were at the siege of Havre de Grace, rendered more 
prudent by their former check, have not ventured within the 
reach of missiles. The French, who had shown more courage, 
were vigorously repulsed, and when they had opened their 
trenches a great quantity of water was let out by the English 
which cut them off from the main body. There was then a 
great slaughter of them, and from that time they confined them- 
selves to the bombardment, till their powder failed. The Eng- 
lish not being aware of that fact were forced to surrender. At 
present, there is no doubt but that the war is about to break 
out afresh, for by both parties envoys have been detained prison- 
ers, contrary to the law of nations. That is the reason why 
your neighbours are blowing their trumpet so lustily about their 
own feats. Our men are not in the least alarmed about the 
troops which you remind us are being levied at Luzerne. 
After all, they may be arming against the enemy. For the 
king's council do not approve of soldiers being enlisted in Ger- 
many at their expense, and they are strictly forbidden to pro- 

' The Catholic cantons which furnished the King of France with his hest troops. 

1563.] BULLINGER. 335 

ceed any further in such measures. A conspiracy, also, has 
been detected which infringes upon their authority. Mean- 
while, the queen is straining every nerve to have the majority 
of her son pronounced, though he has scarcely completed his 
thirteenth year. He has himself, however, proclaimed his 
majority in the Parliament of Rouen, and that by the advice of 
his mother and the nobles, among whom his brother the Duke 
of Orleans, a boy eleven years old, is reckoned the first. You 
see into what a ridiculous mockery the lustre of that ancient 
kingdom has degenerated. For though there ai-e seven supreme 
courts of Parliament in France, six of them have been erected 
merely for the purpose of taking cognizance of causes connected 
with the administration of justice. That of Paris alone has been 
in the habit of deciding questions that embrace the general in- 
terests of the kingdom. But if anything is to be settled in a 
reasonable manner, it will be necessary to convoke an assembly 
of the states general of the three orders. But whatever be done 
the king even in despite of nature will be declared major, nor 
will he obtain the dispensation of age from any other than from 
himself — a dispensation which the laws teach is only to be con- 
ceded to others at the good pleasure of the prince. 

As soon as he shall have made his entry into the city, it has 
been resolved to put some restraint on the madness of the 
tumultuous populace. The Constable unflinchingly defends the 
edict which confers liberty on our churches, guaranties security 
to them, and gives it as his opinion that the edict ought to be 
maintained intact. Respecting the Confession of Augsburg, I 
see no reason for our feeling any great uneasiness. It will be 
obtruded on us in vain, for no one of the Papists will admit its 
claims, and our brethren firmly reject it. We are nevertheless 
making the most strenuous eiforts, and we shall continue to 
make them lest any detriment should arise from our negligence. 
But what are you about in the meantime? Your senate consults 
privately its own interests according to its wonted manner, and 
imagines that its authority will remain unimpaired, though all 
others should go to ruin. Excuse me if I express myself rather 
harshly, because hitherto they have not shown any tokens of 
that solicitude which the necessity of the times so imperiously 

336 BULLINGER. [1563. 

demanded. The Bernese in their deliberations are certainly 
complaining that they have never manifested any zeal for the 
public safety. 

If the three balliages are now restored to the Duke of Savoy,' 
hemmed in on every side and far from all auxiliaries, we shall 
easily fall a prey to our enemies. Por the Duke will not re- 
main satisfied with this acquisition, and will not hesitate to re- 
cover that part which will afford him the most favourable 
opportunity for making war. But though we are brought into 
the greatest danger, I do not demand of you to take our case 
into consideration, but only to take into account the common 
danger. Again, excuse me if, till your fellow citizens conduct 
themselves otherwise, I shall consider them to have no more 
fellow feeling with our misfortunes than so many blocks. But 
God suffers us to be abandoned of men, that we may learn to 
divert our thoughts to himself and keep them fixed upon him 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and respected brother. May 
the Lord long preserve you in safety, continue to direct you by 
his Spirit, and bless your labours. Salute very kindly all your 
colleagues. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

Your devoted friend Jonvillers respectfully and affectionately 
salutes you. 

[Lat. Orig. — Arcli. of Zurich, GalUcana Scripta, p. 55.] 

• Viz., the territory conquered by the Seigneurs of Berne from Savoy, in 1536, and 
the territory contiguous to the southern banks of the Lake of Geneva. 

1563.] THE PRINCE OF CONDE. 337 

DCLVIIL — To THE Prince of Conde.' 

Request concerning the publication of a confession of faith — Blame of the gallantries 

of the prince. 

Geneva, 17th September, 1563. 

MoNSEiGNEUR : — Already we entreated you long ago to deign 
to inform us of your good pleasure touching the confession which 
had been drawn up during the war, in order to shut the mouths 
of your enemies, who by their calumnies made people believe 
whatever they chose. The person who drew it up had not put 
himself forward from any caprice of his own, but had been duly 
required and solicited by M. d'Andelot, who being at that time 
in Germany knew how necessary and useful such a remedy 
would be. 

Now at that time this confession was addressed to you, but 
the communications being interrupted we could not have an 
answer whether you would approve of its being printed, which 
we should never have thought of attempting without your per- 
mission. Since then, we have been persuaded and convinced by 
valid reasons that the present time is quite as opportune as ever 
for such a measure. We know not from what cause it happens 
that we have never been made acquainted with your good plea- 
sure, but we suppose indeed that amid the pressure of so many 
affairs this matter may have dropped from your recollection. 
At present we are obliged, Monseigneur, to refresh your memory, 
and if need be to importune you respecting it. For we have 
been informed that the Duke of Wirtemberg has had a catechism 
translated into French, expressly for the purpose of confuting 
the doctrine which we hold respecting the Lord's supper. We 
foresee many objections which it will be necessary to obviate. 
We have no doubt but he will make you a present of it, if he has 
not already done so, in order to induce you to renounce that 

' See the letters pp. 212, 309, as well as the notes concerning the intrigues of the 
Ultra-Lutheran party in Germany to impose on the Reformed churches of France the 
Cunfession of Augsburg. 


838 THE PRINCE OF CONDE. [1563. 

pure simplicity in which you have been instructed. If he cannot 
succeed, as we are indeed convinced that he will be disappointed 
in that respect, his design is to set at defiance this man and that 
man, everybody in short, in order to render the faith which you 
possess odious. He will pretend also to gain over some, to stir 
up animosities, and array one party against the other. Now it 
seems to us that you can find no remedy more effectual against 
such evils than to publish a confession, both to cut short his in- 
trigues and humble by your constancy the impertinence of those 
who might think of intimidating you under such pretexts. It 
will also have the efi"ect of instructing the ignorant, and putting 
a stop to the blasphemies with which you should be chargeable 
were your cause not known. You cannot imagine, Monseigneur, 
what advantages would accrue from it to Germany. It is even 
possible that he who thinks of making a proselyte of you will be 
caught tripping and converted in his turn. The opportunity is 
the finest in the world for paying him off in his own coin, since 
it was he who gave the first invitation. Wherefore we entreat 
you to send us word what we shall have to do, for the moment 
we have the watchword, we shall not fail to make all diligence. 
We give you a sure address, Mr. Aubrde Lyons. He is one of 
your faithful servants. Besides that the copy has been twice 
sent to you, and, we doubt not, read and approved by you, you 
may consult the opinion of the Cardinal de Chatillon to confirm 
more thoroughly your own judgment. 

For the rest, Monseigneur, we cannot let pass this opportunity 
of beseeching you in general not only to take under your pro- 
tection the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that the course 
of the gospel may be advanced and the poor followers of God 
left in peace and security, but also that you would testify by 
your whole life that you have profited by the doctrine of salva- 
tion, and that your example may tend to edify the good as well 
as shut the mouths of all gainsayers. For being raised to such 
pre-eminent rank, just as you are an object of contemplation 
from afar, so ought you to beware that men find nothing to 
blame in your conduct. You cannot doubt, Monseigneur, but 
that we cherish your honour, almost as much as we desire your 
salvation. Now we should be traitors to you if we left you in 

1563.] BULLINGER. 339 

ignorance of the rumours that fly about. We do not believe 
that at bottom there is any evil in your conduct or that God is 
directly offended by it ; but when we are told that you are making 
love to ladies, we think that this greatly derogates from your 
authority and reputation. Good men will be grieved, and the 
malicious and ill-intentioned will laugh at it. There is also in 
that dissipation something which prevents you from attending 
to your duty, or at least retards you in the accomplishment of 
it. Nay, it is possible that in all this there may be a portion 
of worldly vanity, and you should especially take care that the 
light which God has set within you be not dimmed or ex- 

We trust, Monseigneur, that this admonition you will take 
in good part, when you reflect how very useful it may be to 

Your very humble brethren, 

John Calvin, Theodore Beza. 
IFr. Copy. — Library of Paris, Dupiiy. Vol. 102.] 


News of France — Humiliation of the Parliament of Paris and of the Guises — False 
news of the death of the Duke of Savoy. 

Geneva, 2(ith October, 1563. 

There is nothing changed in the state of France since I 
wrote to you,' except that the Parisians are everyday more and 
more abating their arrogant presumption. First the Parliament 
is crushed, or at least tamed by a decree of the king. Next 
measures have been taken with the population of the city. As 
a very bad precedent indeed, all the acts of the Parliament have 

' In the letter which is here alluded to, we remark the following passage : " The 
affairs of France are still perplexed. The Parisians have abated in some degree their 
obstinacy, but the king who had almost approached their walls has directed his course 
elsewhere. The queen mother pretends to mediate between the parties, but many 
tokens of her perfidy are remarked. The Chancellor is liberal a? usual in his edicts, 
but few obey them. Unless the queen speedily came to a rupture with the Guises, 
formidable convulsions will again break out." Letter of the 30th September, lofi3. 

340 BULLINGER. [1563. 

been rescinded, and whatever dignity resided in that body has 
been abrogated. I am very sorry for my part that by an 
arbitrary order and almost in a despotic manner, that authority 
has been overthrown which has flourished for upwards of two 
centuries, for it was expedient that there should be an inter- 
mediate power to impose some restraint on royal decrees. But 
on the present occasion all the counsellors were compelled to be 
present, and with open doors the sentence was pronounced which 
brands them with infamy. For nothing could be more dis- 
graceful than that all the acts in which they had exceeded the 
bounds of moderation should be torn up in their presence, and 
themselves strictly enjoined not to dare to attempt anything 
similar in future. The king himself contumeliously received 
the messengers whom they repeatedly sent to him. By terror 
then they were all reduced to obedience. The ferocity of that 
turbulent populace being now subdued, others will cease to breed 

The inhabitants of the provinces have received severe in- 
junctions not to retard any longer or throw obstacles in the way 
of the execution of the edicts. The Guises also have been 
bridled, nor indeed did they dare to interpose while the king 
menaced, for the Admiral was present with superior forces. 
Hope has again shone out on us, as far at least as evil broils are 
concerned ; but that plague spreads itself to an incredible degree 
in Gascony and over the whole tract of the Loire. It has not 
yet gained Lyons. Twenty-five battalions had been dispatched, 
who were to halt on their march till news was brought of the 
death of our neighbour, who now, however, is reported to have 
recovered. He has not yet proclaimed war on the Bernese. I 
will not wrangle with you for excusing the conduct of your fellow 
citizens — God who is a just judge will lend an ear to our complaints. 
If, however, you inquire more carefully, you will learn that your 
deputies, after they had fulfilled the object of their instructions, 
gave their aid more strenuously to the cause than the citizens 
of Lucerne. We shall hold our peace till an opportunity invite 
us to speak. For having obtained from your senate for worthy 
men the thing which they demanded, I return you thanks both 
in my own name and in theirs. 

1563.] MERCER. 341 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and venerable brother. May 
the Lord preserve you in safety, sustain you by his power, and 
bless your labours. Best respects to your fellow pastors, your 
wife, and your whole family. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

Your devoted friend Jonvillers respectfully and affectionately 
salutes you. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCLX.— To Merger.! 

New proposals of a chair in the Academy of Geneva. 

Geneva, 23d October, 1563. 

I could have wished, when I called you hither two years ago, 
that your engagements had permitted you not to *hesitate in 
conferring your services upon our church and school. But it 
was not so disagreeable for me at that time to be disappointed 
in my expectations, as it has been matter of sorrow and regret 
since, that in the miserable dispersion which has taken place at 
Paris, you have been excluded from your functions of teaching. 
It was certainly a laborious and modest situation to which I 
called you. In one respect, however, you formed a false esti- 
mate of it, when you felt convinced that your labours would be 
more useful and productive of greater results on a celebrated 
theatre than in this obscure corner. For though the number 
of students is small, yet you would have found among them 
pupils to whose advancement it would have given you much 
satisfaction to contribute, and if you repair here, as I hope, you 
will see that the field was by no means to be despised. But 
since those calamitous events which have so suddenly fallen out 

• See vol. iii. p. 412. Always attentive to the development of the Academy, Calvin 
never allowed an opportunity to escape of attracting to Geneva the most distinguished 
professors. Mercer did not respond to this second appeal, but he called Calvin's 
attention to the learned Matthew Beroald, the nephew of Vatable and professor at 

342 MERCER. [1563. 

and ruined everything at Paris, I have been much astonished 
that you have sought for a retreat elsewhere than among us, for 
never would you have found a more tranquil nor a more suitable 
position. And in truth I should never have delayed so long to 
write to you, if I could have guessed in what quarter of the 
world my letter would reach you. ^Now that a friend has 
pledged himself that he will find a means of having it delivered to 
you, it would have been an act of unpardonable negligence on 
my part to delay any longer. For here a task awaits you which 
I think you ought to prefer to any other, even if you were at 
liberty to choose. But now that God has detached you from 
the spot with which you fancied yourself indissolubly connected, 
why you should delay one moment, or why you should not im- 
mediately on the receipt of this decide upon what public utility 
demands of you, I can see no reason whatever. It would be 
difficult for me to explain to you minutely all the details of this 
affair, but if my entreaties have any influence with you, I beg 
and beseech you that you let us obtain this favour at least of 
you. For at the present moment I plead for nothing else but 
that you will become one of us until the necessities of your duty 
may call you somewhere else. And if you are not to be moved 
by my prayers, I interpose my advice, with which if you comply, 
I promise you, you shall reap greater satisfaction in the dis- 
charge of your office than you could have believed before making 
the experiment. Make haste then with all the speed you may, 
and settle among us. 

Farewell, most accomplished sir and very honoured brother. 
May the Lord always direct you by his Spirit, and prosper your 
journey that we may see you in safety ere long. — Yours, 

Charles Passelius. 
[Lat. Copy. — Library of Zurich, Simler. Vol.108.] 


1563.] M. DE LOINES. 343 


Councillor in the court of Parliament of Paris — Exhortation not to abandon his office 
of councillor and still less the truth. 

Geneva, ^th November, 1563. 

Monsieur: — Though till the present moment I had never 
received any letters from you, yet it was with pleasure that I 
often had good news of you, which were communicated to me 
several times, and for which I thanked God. But letters from 
your own hand have given me much greater satisfaction, be- 
cause I see by them the good and friendly disposition you en- 
tertain towards me. I was already aware of that, but I am 
delighted to have a new pledge of it in order to be still more 
certain of it. For the rest, as I see, God has sorely tried you 
since you were appointed to your present charge. I had no 
doubts indeed but that while your colleagues were demeaning 
themselves like madmen you must have been in great perplexity.' 
But now that in consequence of the very excesses of their 
mutinous disposition they have been subdued and tamed, you 
may continue to exercise your profession or rather pursue the 
object you had in view in adopting it, and in doing so it appears 
to me you will have no reason to regret it, and I am so far from 
turning you aside from that purpose that I would take pains to 
stimulate you were it necessary. 

Since you are pleased to ask my advice, besides the general 
principle that it is not lawful to quit a public vocation and dis- 
engage ourselves from its duties at our good pleasure, without 
being constrained to such a measure by necessity or violence, 
the present state of things imposes on you a double obligation 
to persist in your task, were it but to ascertain how God will be 
pleased to employ you. I will not enter into any discussion to 

' The Parliament of Paris had signalized itself among all the courts of the kingdom 
for its animosity against the Reformed. It long refused to register the edict of 
January, and saw but with regret the conclusion of the treaty of Amboise which 
granted to the Protestants a limited liberty. 

344 M. DE LOINES. [1563. 

persuade you how you ought to surmount all difficulties, since 
it is certain that the greatest virtue you can possess is to shut 
your eyes on everything that may happen, marching simply 
whither God has called you. It would be desirable that you 
had many associates in your task, but let this consideration 
satisfy you, that God has called you to a combat, which you have 
already no doubt duly meditated, in order to carry you through 
the struggle manfully. 

It is a marvellous thing that the devil has agents who are 
inflamed with zeal, and spare no pains to lay hold of all the 
seats of justice, thinking that it is a means of oppressing God's 
church, and that in the mean time those who ought to resist the 
evil quit the place. This is very far from putting in practice 
St. Paul's rule, to take away the occasion from those who seek 
it. On the contrary, we should rather strive to make some 
vacate their places, to put in their stead men who hold out 
for the good party. I should only ask for a dozen of honest 
men to put some heart into the bosoms of those who are neither 
flesh nor fish, that is to say, of more than sixty individuals. 
But since God has already shown you what you ought to do, I 
have only to pray him to fortify you with invincible courage, 
as I am sure he will. Only make haste without boggling, 
for we are certain of gaining every point, being stayed by His 
power to strengthen us to do whatever he commands. 

Whereupon, Monsieur, having humbly commended myself 
to your indulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father 
to keep you under his protection, to conduct you by his Spirit, 
and make you prosper in all good. / 

[Fr. Orig. Minute. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

1563.] BULLINGER. 345 


Versatile policy of Catherine de Medicis — Departure of Cond6 — Favour of Coligny — 
Intolerance of the Guises — Oppression of the Protestants in the provinces — Necessity 
for assuring to them some guaranties. 

Geneva, 2nd December, 1563. 

Since I wrote to you, venerable brother, these are the latest 
news from France. As nearly all the members of the king's 
council are hostile to us, in a sudden impulse of fury it was de- 
creed that the walls of Orleans should be demolished. The 
military governor began to pull down some towers and to fill up 
the fosses with rubbish. If, however, we may believe the rumour, 
its authors are ashamed and repent of so pernicious a decree. 
They had come to a similar decision respecting many other 
cities, under the pretext that it was by no means expedient that 
there should be any fortified places except near the frontiers for 
the purpose of repelling the enemy. The Prince of Condd left 
the court about a month ago, because the queen mother had 
craftily kept in suspense the marriage of her son with the 
daughter of Saint Andrd. Thus in truth betraying the cause 
of Christ, he has consulted only his own interest and personal 
advantages. Although nobody feels any great solicitude to 
have him appeased, his indignation will evaporate of its own 
accord. Now I shall tell you what intelligence we received the 
day before yesterday. 

When the Admiral had come to salute the king, he was very 
graciously received by him. After that he went to Paris with 
a very numerous escort. The Constable, that he might stir xip 
the bile of the envious, went to his lodgings and after breakfast 
took him to the king's palace. There he was present at a de- 
liberation, in which it is supposed that a great many matters 
were canvassed. The partisans of Guise decamped with bag 
and baggage to another quarter of the city. Through the Duke 
of Nemours they let the queen mother know that they were 
astonished why she suffered the Admiral to come into such close 
contact with her son. She replied that he was an old servant 

846 BULLINGEK. [1563. 

of the king, and that there was no reason why he should be ex- 
cluded from visiting him; then that such was the king's plea- 
sure, but that at the same time there was room for everybody ; 
that she advised them consequently to come; which advice they 
did not take. But the parliament sent intercessors to the Con- 
stable that he might appease the resentment of his grandson. 
The Maire and the magistrates did the same thing. The king 
was on the point of going to the Parliament and taking the 
Admiral along with him. In a short time we shall hear how 
that proceeding terminated, which, however, has inspired our 
party with the greatest hopes of a favourable issue. The Prince 
Porcien was expected at court as well as the Duke of Bouillon, 
son of the Marquis and great grandson of the famous Robert. 
They are both the most decided enemies of the party of the 
Guises. The Chancellor who was our friend begins to recover 
from his timidity and take heart. The king, under pretext of 
visiting the lady who has just been confined, was about to be 
dragged to Lorraine, and Athaliah' was so bent on going there 
that it was to no purpose that everybody opposed her resolution. 
Now it is reported that she has changed her mind respecting 
that journey. The minds of all are occupied with concluding a 
peace with the English. In this manner all the intrigues of the 
Cardinal of Lorraine to his great disgrace will come to nothing. 
The king is nominally major, but is in reality governed by the 
will of another, and that too almost like a slave. He would not 
be unfavourable to us, if he durst express an opinion. In the 
mean time you could hardly believe how great is the audacity 
of nearly all the judges in their efforts to oppress us. The in- 
nocent are thus miserably tormented, and license is increased 
by impunity. The inhabitants of Orleans have obtained one 
object of their wishes in having the garrison removed from there, 
as the garrisons have been from other cities. 

Wherefore I remind you that you must take care that travel- 
ling expenses be provided for our neighbours, who will speedily 
return. Now I come to a point of the greatest importance of 
all, and to which I particularly desire you to apply all your at- 
tention and zeal. You are aware that the time is fast approach- 

' That is to say : Catherine de Medicis. 

1563.] BULLINGER. 347 

ing in which the league is to be renewed with the Helvetians. 
If your senate can be brought to contract an alliance with the 
king, this will be the only and the shortest method of establish- 
ing the gospel in France. I do not know if you have heard of 
the conspiracy of the enemies. They fancy that when a national 
assembly shall be appointed, it will be an easy and prompt 
method of overturning at one moment almost all the churches, 
both because they will decide in it everything at their own 
pleasure, and because they will have the means of putting their 
resolutions in execution. The pope in the mean time, with the 
king of Spain, the Venetians, the Italian princes, and the Duke 
of Savoy is preparing to destroy this city entirely and cut us 
all off. Good men are afraid that the queen mother, unless she 
be bridled, is but too much inclined to lend her aid to that 
faction. It will then be the safest, and indeed the only remedy, 
if the Helvetian states that have embraced the gospel should 
form a league on this condition, that provision should be made 
for the French churches and their liberties. That might be ob- 
tained without great difficulty. Three other cantons would 
follow the example set them by your senate. Nor would it be 
advantageous to the French and us alone, that the king should 
be bound to protect the churches in the modest privileges which 
they now possess, but it would also be extremely desirable for 
yourselves in order to put a check upon your neighbours, whose 
arrogance would thus be humbled, and their intemperate fury 
calmed down. I entreat you then, venerable brother, in the 
name of God, and I implore you by the common safety of all 
our brethren, that forgetting the numerous obstacles that may 
stand in your way, you would strive to bring about this alliance 
which will preserve the interests of religion safe and intact in 
France, and close the door on the wicked plots of the ungodly. 
You see how frankly I deal with you. I am very anxious to 
know what you think on the subject. This one thing I will 
venture to testify freely ; if your fellow citizens refuse, they will 
be liable to be charged both in the presence of God and men 
with more than one species of crime. But perhaps there will 
be no necessity for making a great effort to decide them, when 
they perceive not only how sacred a duty it is to rescue from 


all inquietude the churches now in danger, but also how much 
it will promote their own interests to have the king bound down 
not to abjure the cause of protecting religion. 

Farewell, most illustrious sir and respected brother. Be 
careful to salute all your colleagues in my name, as all mine 
salute you. May the Lord stand by you, sustain you by his 
Spirit, and long preserve you in safety. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

Your devoted friend Jonvillers respectfully and affectionately 
salutes you. 

[Lat Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

DCLXIII. — To THE Duchess of Ferrara.' 

Counsels for the direction of her household — Present of a medal. 

Geneva, 8th January, 1564. 

Madame: — I believe you have received my last letters, to 
which I expect an answer in order to acquit myself of my duty 
respecting the subject on which you had been pleased to write 
to me. In the mean time I was unwilling to neglect the oppor- 
tunity of recommending the present bearer to you, that you 
might learn from him the state of things here, for it is better to 
assign to him the task of informing you orally than charge the 
paper with such details, seeing that he is one of the most inti- 
mate friends I have, and a man in whom one may repose the 

" The minister Francis de Morel, almoner of the Duchess of Ferrara, had complained 
to Calvin of the difficulties he encountered in the exercise of his ministry and in the 
application of ecclesiastical discipline at the small court of Montargis : "Great danger 
arises from a woman heing the sovereign. The church is in a miserable condition, 
I was obliged to forego dispensing the sacrament of the Lord's supper on the bypast 
month of September, because from other quarters came so many dogs and ewine that 
I should have been obliged to admit along with the sheep. The festival of Christ's 
birth is at hand. At that time it is customary to administer the Lord's supper. I 
do not know how to act. Do you then, my most worthy father, advise me." Letter 
of the (>th December, 1663. The Reformer exhorted the duchess to maintain the 
authority of the Consistory and preserve a severe discipline in her household. 


most absolute trust.' He is a son of the late M. Bud^ the king's 
master of the rolls, who was much renowned for his erudition. 
For the rest, Madame, you have shown by your decision that a 
residence at Paris was very little to your taste.^ It is true that 
it would have been desirable that you had remained constantly 
at court for the relief of the poor churches, but I am not sur- 
prised that you seek for a quieter manner of life. 

Now, since God has brought you back to your own town, it 
behoves you to redouble your care for administering rightly 
both your subjects and your household. I know, Madame, how 
obstinate the people are, and how you have laboured heretofore 
without much profit, to bring them into subjection. Be that as 
it will, I pray you to follow out completely the doctrine of St. 
Paul on this head, never to be weary of well doing, whatever 
malice you may encounter to damp your ardor. Above all let 
your household be a mirror to set the example to those who 
show themselves rather indocile, and to confound those who are 
incorrigible and entirely hardened. To accomplish this, I beg 
you to keep a firm hand, to the utmost of your power, to 
establish a good discipline for repressing vices and occasions of 

I do not mean a police with regard to political matters, but 
also in respect of the Consistory of the church, and let those who 
are established to have an eye over the conduct of others, be 
men fearing God, of holy life, and such sincerity and straight- 
forwardness that nothing shall prevent them from doing their 
duty, having such a zeal as becomes them in maintaining the 
honour of God in its integrity. Now let no one, whatever be 
his rank or condition, or in whatever esteem you may hold him, 
be ashamed to submit to the order which the Son of God him- 
self has established, and bend his neck to receive the yoke. For 
I assure you, Madame, that without this remedy there will be 
an unbridled licentiousness which will engender only confusion. 
Those who make some profession of Christianity will be for the 
most part dissolute. In one word, there will be a pliant, and as 

' John de Bude. 

" Contrary to the desires of Calvin, the Duchess of Ferrara had quitted the court, 
where her counsels were not listened to, to return to her chateau of Montargis. 


it were many-coloured (sic) gospel, for we see how every one 
flatters himself and is disposed to follow his own appetites. It 
is wonderful to see how those that have voluntarily subjected 
themselves to the tyranny of the pope, cannot endure that Jesus 
Christ should bear gentle rule over them for their own salvation. 
But it is true that the devil makes use of this device to bring 
the truth of God into opprobrium, to cause pure religion to be 
contemned, and the sacred name of our Redeemer blasphemed. 
Thus, Madame, to have a church duly Reformed, it is more than 
ever requisite to have people charged with a superintendence to 
watch over the morals of each ; and that no one may feel him- 
self aggrieved in giving an account of his life to the elders, let 
the elders themselves be selected by the church, as nothing can 
be more reasonable than to preserve to it this liberty, and this 
privilege will tend also to produce greater discretion in the choice 
of fitting men, and approved of as such by the Consistory. 

I am persuaded, Madame, that you have aided our brother de 
Colonges with your authority in establishing some such order. 
But knowing to how much corruption the courts of princes are 
subject, I have thought that it would not be superfluous to ex- 
hort you to maintain it. Nay, it is right that you should be re- 
minded of one thing: namely, that at all times the devil has 
striven by sinister reports and defamation, to render the minis- 
ters of the gospel contemptible, in order that they may become the 
object either of aversion or of disgust. For that reason all the 
faithful should be carefully on their guard against such wiles. 
For, in fact, to quarrel with their spiritual pasture is something 
worse than finding fault with their bodily food, since the matter 
at stake here is the life of their souls. Be that as it will, if 
there are any who aim, were it but indirectly, to discourage 
you from pursuing what you have so well begun, you ought to 
shun them as deadly plagues. And in sooth the devil stirs them 
up to alienate people by indirect means from God, whose will it 
is that He should be recognized in the person of his servants. 

Above all, Madame, never allow yourself to be persuaded to 
change anything in the state of the church, such as God has 
consecrated it by his blood. For it is he before whom every 
knee should bend. If to wheedle you they allege that your 


house ought to be privileged, reflect that they cannot do you 
more dishonour than in cutting it off from the body of the 
church ; as on the contrary you cannot be more highly honoured 
than in having your house purged of all pollutions. Where, I 
ask you, Madame, ought we to apply the remedies sooner than 
in the cases where the diseases have most chance to spread? 
Now only judge if courts are not more apt to break out into all 
kinds of licentiousness than private families, unless precautions 
be taken against the evil. I do not say, if there is any subject 
of scandal among the members of your household, that you, who 
are the principal member of the church, should be the first to be 
reminded of it, in order to deliberate in perfect concord how it 
may be corrected ; but what I recommend is that your authority 
should not interfere to interrupt the course of discipline, since 
if your domestics were spared, all respect for the Consistory 
would disappear like water from a leaky vessel. 

Madame, I pass to another subject. I have long had a great 
wish to make you a present of a gold piece. Think how bold I 
am ; but because I supposed you had a similar one, I have not 
ventured hitherto, for it is only its rarity that can give it any 
value in your esteem. Finally I have delivered it to the bearer 
to show it to you, and if it is a novelty to you, will you be pleased 
to keep it ? It is the finest present that I have it in my power 
to make you.' 

Madame, having very humbly commended myself to your in- 
dulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to have 
you in his holy keeping, and increase you in all good and pros- 

IFr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

' It was a gold medal which King Louis XII., the father of Rene, had caused to be 
struck at the time of his disputes with the Pope Julius II. with this exergue : Perdam 
Babylonis nomen : I will destroy the name of Babylon, This gift was very agreeable 
to the Duchess : "As to the present you have sent me, I assure you, I have seen and 
accepted it with very great pleasure, and I never had any like it. I have praised God 
that the late king my father had adopted such a device. If God did not grant him 
the grace to put it in execution, perhaps he reserves for one of his descendants to take 
his place to accomplish it." (Library of Paris, Dupuy, vol. 86, p. 120.) 


DCLXIV. — To THE Duchess of Ferrara.' 

Answer to a letter of this princess concerning the condemnation of the Duke of Guise 
and the beatification of the King of Navarre — Is it lawful to hate our enemies — 
Eulogy of Coligny. 

Geneva, 2ith January, 1564. 

Madame: — When by your last letter you had intimated to 
Messire Francisco, that it would be expedient that I should ex- 
hort to charity those who make a profession of being Christians, 
I understood that to refer to some ministers that you have found 
not to be very charitable according to your judgment. In the 
mean time, I can gather that you alluded to the too great 
asperity with which they have condemned the late Duke of 
Guise. Now, Madame, before I proceed to examine more 
closely that question, I pray you in God's name to reflect 
seriously, that on your part also it is requisite to observe 

' Sincerely devoted to the cause of the Reformation which counted only adversaries 
and persecutors in her family, mother-in-law of the Duke of Guise, aunt of Catherine 
of Medicis and Charles IX., the Duchess of Ferrara had a painful struggle to main- 
tain between her afTections and her faith. The memory of the Duke of Guise, her 
son-in-law, was particularly odious to the Reformed, who accused him of being the 
author of the massacre of Vassy. Assassinated at Orleans by the fanatic Poltrot, the 
hatred of the Protestants pursued him even after his death, and the ministers devoted 
his soul to eternal damnation, These violent sentiments grieved the Duchess of 
Ferrara, who eloquently complained of them in several of her letters to Calvin : " I 
have no wish to excuse the faults of my son-in-law for not possessing the knowledge 
of God, but against the accusation that he was the only one that kindled these fives 
of discord. It is well known that he had retired to his house, and was unwilling to 
stir from it, and also that he was urged by letters and messages to make him leave it; 
and now that he is dead and gone, there is so envenomed and deadly a hatred, which 
never ceases to blacken his memory by all the falsehoods that can be raked up or 
imagined, that I am compelled to declare that I cannot hold or esteem such lying 
words to proceed from God. I know that he was a persecutor, but I do not know, 
nor do I believe, to speak out to you undisguisedly, that he is reprobated by God, for 
he gave signs of a Christian man on the contrary before his death. But they will not 
allow that he said anything, and they wish to close and lock up the mouths of those 
that know the fact . . . And do you not see how they can never sufficiently satiate 
their rancour even after his death ? And had he been ten times more unhappy and 
reprobate than he ever was, it is strange that they will never speak of anything else . . . 
etc." Letter of the Duchess of Ferrara to Calvin. (Coll. Dupuy, vol. Sfi,) published 
for the first time in the Archives Curicuaea de I'Hiatoire de France. Vol, v. p. 399. 


moderation. For it is only one void of reflection who will fancy 
that we can ever have too much of it. And without taking into 
account the report of others I have perceived in your letter, 
that affection makes you forget what otherwise you should have 
sufficiently known. Respecting what I had alleged to you that 
David teaches us by his example to hate the enemies of God, 
you reply that it was only during those times when people lived 
under the rigour of the law, that it was permitted to hate 
enemies. Now, Madame, this gloss would lead to the over- 
throwing of the whole Scriptures, and for that reason we should 
shun it as we would a deadly plague. For we see that David 
surpassed in kindness of character the best of those that would 
be found in our days. Thus when he protests that he has 
wept and in secret shed tears for those who were plotting his 
death, we see that his hatred consisted in mourning for their 
death, that he was as meek spirited as could possibly be desired. 
But when he says he holds the reprobate in mortal aversion, it 
cannot be doubted that he glories in an upright, pure, and well 
regulated zeal, for which three things are requisite: first, that 
we should have no regard for ourselves nor our private interests ; 
next, that we should possess prudence and discretion not to 
judge at random; and finally, that we observe moderation not 
to exceed the bounds of our calling. All this you will see, 
Madame, more in detail in several passages of my commentaries 
on the Psalms, when you shall be pleased to take the trouble to 
look into them. So that indeed the Holy Spirit has given us 
David as a model, that in this respect we might follow his ex- 
ample. And in fact w^e are told that in this ardor he was the 
type of our Lord Jesus Christ, and if we pretend to surpass in 
meekness and humanity him who is the fountain of pity and 
compassion, woe to us. 

But to cut short all disputes, let it satisfy us that St. Paul 
applies to all believers this passage : " The zeal of thy house 
hath eaten me tip." Wherefore our Lord Jesus, reproving his dis- 
ciples because they desired that he should cause fire to come 
down from heaven as Elias had done, and consume those who 
rejected him, does not allege that we are no longer under a law 
of rigour, but simply shows them that they are not led by the 


same spirit as the prophet. Nay, St. John, of whom you have 
retained nothing hut the word love, clearly shows that we ought 
not, under show of an affection for men, to become indifferent to 
the duty we owe to the honour of God and the preservation of 
his church. It is when he forbids us even to salute those, who, 
as much as in them lies, turn us aside from the pure doctrine. 
On that subject, I pray you, to pardon me if I tell you frankly, 
that in my opinion you have taken in a wrong sense the com- 
parison of the bow, which we bend in an opposite direction when 
it has been too much bent on one side. For he who employed 
it doubtless only meant to say that in seeing you carried to ex- 
cess he had been constrained to be more vehement, not that he 
might falsify the Scriptures or disguise the truth. 

I come now to the fact which, not to annoy you by my pro- 
lixity, I shall only briefly touch upon. You have not been the 
only one to suffer much anguish and bitterness during these 
horrible troubles that have fallen out. True it is, the evil might 
sting you more keenly on seeing the throne with which you are 
connected by your royal descent, subject to such disorder. But 
certainly the sorrow was common to all the children of God, 
and though we might all have said : Woe to him by whom this 
scandal is come ; nevertheless there was special reason for groan- 
ing and lamenting, seeing that a good cause had been very ill- 
conducted. Now if the evil distressed all good men, the Duke 
of Guise who had kindled the conflagration could not be spared. 
For my own part, though I have often prayed God to show him 
mercy, yet it is certain 1 have often desired that God should lay 
his hand on him in order to deliver out of his hands the poor 
church, unless it pleased God to convert him. So that I may 
protest that before the war, I had but to give my consent 
to have had him exterminated by those men of prompt and ready 
execution, who were bent on that object, and who were restrained 
only by my exhortation. To pronounce that he is damned, 
however, is to go too far, unless one had some certain and infal- 
lible mark of his reprobation. In which we must guard against 
presumption and temerity, for there is none can know that but 
the Judge before whose tribunal we have all to render an ac- 



The second point seems to me still more exorbitant, that of 
pronouncing the King of Navarre in paradise and the Duke of 
Guise in hell. For if we institute a comparison between them, 
we find that the former was an apostate, the latter always an 
avowed enemy of the truth of the gospel. What I should wish 
then in this matter would be more moderation and sobriety. In 
the mean time I have also to pray you, Madame, not to show so 
much displeasure at the expression, not to pray for any one, 
without having made a due distinction between the form and the 
reality of the subject in question. For though I pray for the 
salvation of any one, that does not imply that in all respects, 
and everywhere, I recommend him as if he were a member of the 
church. We demand of God that he would bring back into the 
right path those who are on the way to perdition. But it will 
not be in placing them in the rank of our brethren in order to 
desire for them all kinds of prosperity. 

On this subject, I will relate to you an anecdote of the Queen 
of Navarre, very applicable to the matter in question. When 
the king her husband had fallen oif from us, the minister at her 
court ceased to make mention of him in the public prayers. 
Irritated, she remonstrated with him that he ought not to make 
this omission, if for no other reason at least from consideration 
for his subjects. He excusing himself declared that if he had 
altogether abstained from doing so, it was to conceal the dis- 
honour of the king her husband, inasmuch as he could not pray 
to God for him in reality, unless he made supplication for his 
conversion, which was only discovering his fall. If he asked 
God to maintain him in prosperity, it would be a mockery and a 
profanation of prayer. Having heard this answer she said not 
a word till she had demanded advice of others, and finding 
that they all agreed she mildly acquiesced. As I know, 
Madame, that this virtuous princess would be disposed to take 
a lesson from you as a thing due to your age and your vir- 
tues, in like manner I entreat you not to be ashamed to con- 
form your conduct to hers in this matter. Her husband 
was a closer connection to her than your son-in-law to you; 
nevertheless she mastered her affections in order not to be 


the cause of having God's name profaned, which it would be 
assuredly if our prayers were feigned or militated against the 
repose of the church. And to have done with this pretext of 
charity, judge, I beseech you, Madame, if it is reasonable that 
at the capricious desire of a single man, we are to make no ac- 
count of a hundred thousand — that charity should be so confined 
to one who had endeavoured to throw everything into confusion, 
that the children of God should be kept completely in the back- 
ground. Now the remedy for all that is to hate evil, without 
taking persons into the account, but leaving every one to his 
Judge. If God granted me the favour of speaking with you, I 
trust I should speedily satisfy you. In the mean time I entreat 
you to weigh well what I have slightly handled, that you may 
not disquiet and irritate your mind for a little idle talk, which 
you could afford to treat with the most thorough contempt. 

You are solicited to permit the shops of the Papists to be 
robbed and pillaged. I take good care not to approve of such 
a step, whoever may have taken it. I commend on the con- 
trary your virtue and greatness of mind, in having been unwill- 
ing to acquiesce in so unjust a demand. I say the same thing 
of the other excesses which you mention. Touching the quarrel 
which has arisen in your household between the two persons 
whom you name, I know not what reason there is for speaking 
against the woman. I have no doubt of what you tell me, 
Madame; but I know not whether there have been any bad 
symptoms that have forced M. de Colonges to give such an ad- 
monition as a kind of preventive remedy, or whether he has 
gone too for, and there has been want of due reflection on his 
part. One thing is certain ; that the husband gave loose to too 
much violence when they offered to satisfy him, and the answ^er 
and refusal of M. de Colonges also savours more of his ambition 
and of worldly vanity than of the modesty of a man of his calling, 
at which I am very sorry, for he must have forgotten himself 
too far. If the parties agree to lay before us an account of 
their affair, I will do all in my power to remedy the evil on 
whichsoever side it may be found. 

On this point, Madame, I confess that it is much to be feared 


that God will not leave us long to enjoy the blessings he has 
granted us; since everyone is so taken up with his self-interest, 
that we do not know how to support our neighbour in a spirit 
of meekness and humility. And so far are we from loving our 
enemies, striving to overcome evil with good, that there is no 
gentleness among us to keep up brotherly love between those 
who boast that they are Christians. Nevertheless, I pray you 
again, Madame, not to dwell any longer on that distinction 
which deceives you, while you imagine that it was permitted 
under the law to avenge one's self, because it is there said, "an 
eye for an eye." For vengeance was as much forbidden then as 
it is under the gospel, seeing that we are commanded to do good 
even to the beast of our enemy. But what was addressed to 
the judges each individual applied to himself. There remains 
the abuse of the precept which our Lord Jesus Christ corrects. 
Be that as it will, we are all agreed, that in order to be re- 
cognized as children of God, it behoves us to conform ourselves 
to his example, striving to do good to those who are unworthy 
of it, just as he causes his sun to shine on the evil and the good. 
Thus hatred and Christianity are things incompatible. I mean - j 
hatred towards persons — in opposition to the love we owe them. ! 
On the contrary we are to wish and even procure their good ; \ 
and to labour, as much as in us lies, to maintain peace and con- 1 
cord with all men. 

Now if those who are commissioned to dissipate all enmity 
and rancour, to reconcile enemies, to exhort to patience, and 
repress all lust of vengeance, be themselves brands of discord — 
so much the worse, and so much the less are they to be excused. 
At any rate, Madame, the faults which displease you ought not 
to cool your zeal or prevent you from continuing as you have so 
well begun. And I know that God has fortified you with such 
courage that it is unnecessary to solicit you yet more. Where- 
fore I am confident that you will set an example of charity to 
those who know not what it is, and by your integrity and plain 
dealing cover with confusion those who practise towards you 
hypocrisy and dissimulation. On the other hand I bless God 
for having made known to you the real character of the Admiral, 


to inspire you with a taste for his probity. When it will please 
him he will do the rest . . .^ 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

DCLXV. — To THE Physicians of Montpellier. 

Medical consultation. 

Geneva, Sth February, 1564. 

When the physician Sarrazin, on whose directions I princi- 
pally rely for the re-establishment of my health, presented me 
not long ago some remedies which you prescribed for the relief 
of my complaints, I asked him, who had without my knowledge 
taken that task upon him. He replied that at the request of 
one of my colleagues, who is at present resident among you, he 
had drawn up a short abstract of matters connected with my 
case, in order that you might give me the benefit of your advice. 
On my part, I cannot but recognize from the very minute an- 
swers you have transmitted, how much interest you take in my 
life, about the prolongation of which you have spontaneously 
shown yourselves so solicitous. If to have given yourselves that 
trouble at my demand would have been no small token of kind- 
ness on your part, how much more must I feel indebted to you 
for thus anticipating my desires by your unsolicited benevolence ! 
Moreover, I have no other means of testifying my gratitude to 
you, besides that of recommending you to draw in your turn 
from my writings what may afford you a spiritual medicine. 
Twenty years ago I experienced the same courteous services 
from the distinguished Parisian physicians, Acatus, Tagant, and 
Gallois. But at that time I was not attacked by arthritic pains, 
knew nothing of the stone or the gravel — I was not tormented 
with the gripings of the cholic, nor afflicted with hemorrhoids, 
nor threatened with expectoration of blood. At present all 

' The end is wanting. We are furnished with the date by the answer of the duchess 
to Calvin : '' Monsieur Calvin, I have received your letter of the Sth January from M. 
BudCj and that of the 24th in answer to my last . . . 


these ailments as it were in troops assail me. As soon as I re- 
covered from a quartan ague, I was seized with severe and acute 
pains in the calves of my legs, which after being partially re- 
lieved returned a second and a third time. At last they de- 
generated into a disease in my articulations, which spread from 
my feet to my knees. An ulcer in the hsemorrhoid veins long 
caused me excruciating sufferings, and intestinal ascarides sub- 
jected me to painful titillations, though I am now relieved from 
this vermicular disease, but immediately after in the course of 
last summer I had an attack of nephritis. As I could not en- 
dure the jolting motion of horseback, I was conveyed into the 
country in a litter. On my return I wished to accomplish a part 
of the journey on foot. I had scarcely proceeded a mile when 
I was obliged to repose myself, in consequence of lassitude in 
the reins. And then to my surprise I discovered that I dis- 
charged blood instead of urine. As soon as I got home I took 
to bed. The nephritis gave me exquisite pain, from which I 
only obtained a partial relief by the application of remedies. 
At length not without the most painful strainings I ejected a 
calculus which in some degree mitigated my sufferings, but such 
was its size, that it lacerated the urinary canal and a copious 
discharge of blood followed. This hemorrhage could only be 
arrested by an injection of milk' through a syringe. After that 
I ejected several others, and the oppressive numbness of the 
reins is a sufficient symptom that there still exist there some 
remains of uric calculus. It is a fortunate thing, however, that 
minute or at least moderately sized particles still continue to 
be emitted. My sedentary way of life to which I am condemned 
by the gout in my feet precludes all hopes of a cure. I am 
also prevented from taking exercise on horseback by my hemor- 
rhoids. Add to my other complaints that whatever nourish- 
ment I take imperfectly digested turns into phlegm, which by 
its density sticks like paste to my stomach. But I am thought- 
lessly tasking your patience, giving you double labour as the 
reward of your previous kindness, not indeed in consulting 
you, but in giving you the trouble to read over my vain com- 

' Muliebri laete. 


Farewell, most accomplished sirs whom I sincerely honour. 
May the Lord always direct you by his Spirit, sustain you by 
his power, and enrich you more and more with his gifts. 
\^Calvin^s Lat. corresp., Opera, ix. p. 172.] 

DCLXVL — To THE Duchess of Ferrara.^ 

Homage rendered to the piety of this princess — Eulogy of her niece the Duchess of 


Geneva, ith April, 1564. 

Madame: — I pray you to pardon me if I employ the hand 
of my brother in writing to you, in consequence of my weakness 
and the pains I suffer from divers diseases — difficulty of breath- 
ing, the stone, the gout, and an ulcer in the hsemorrhoid veins 
which prevents me from taking any exercise, which is the only 
thing from which I might hope to derive some relief. I will also 
pray you to excuse me if this letter is short in comparison of 
yours, inasmuch as I am still waiting for the return of M. de 
Bud^, through whom you have promised to let me hear news 
of you. Add to that, I have received no letter from M. de 
Colonges to inform me what measures should be adopted to ap- 
pease the differences of your household, and remedy for the 
future all that might breed troubles and tumults, or keep up 
animosities and rancour. 

Touching other matters, if my advice has any weight with you, 
do not, I pray you, torment your mind any more about them, 
for whatever occur, too violent passions engender much uneasi- 
ness, and shut the door on reason and truth. Nay, I have been 
astonished, Madame, though in speaking of the reprobate I had 
distinctly separated the person of the Duke of Guise from the 
question, and protested that those who according to their fancy 
damn people are too presumptuous, that you have nevertheless 
taken my remark in quite a contrary sense. That is the reason 
why I refrain from saying anything more, either good or bad 

' Dictated from his death-bed. This letter is the last of the French correspondence 
of the Reformer. 


on that matter. I shall allude to one thing, however, that so 
far are virtuous people from entertaining sentiments either of 
hatred or horror for you, because you are the mother-in-law of 
M. de Guise, that they only love and respect you the more, seeing 
that connection did not turn you aside from making an upright 
and pure profession of Christianity, and that not only in words 
but by deeds so remarkable that nothing could exceed them. 
As for myself I protest to you, that that has excited me to hold 
your virtues in so much the greater admiration. 

I pass to another subject. I have heard that your niece the 
Duchess of Savoy is in a fair train, and is even deliberating 
about making an open declaration,' but you know how many 
meddlesome intriguers there are to retard her or cool her zeal, 
and on the other hand she has always been timid, so that 
it is to be feared that this good disposition of mind will proceed 
no further unless it be stimulated. Now, Madame, I am of 
opinion that there is nobody in this world who has more authority 
over her than you; for that reason I would entreat you in God's 
name not to spare a good and earnest exhortation, in order to 
give her courage to take a decided resolution : in which I hold it 
for certain that you will do your whole duty according to your 
zeal for having God more and more served and honoured. 

Madame, having very humbly commended myself to your 
indulgent favour, I will supplicate our heavenly Father to keep 
you under his protection, to govern you continually by his Spirit, 
and to maintain you in all prosperity. 

[Fr. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107.] 

'Margaret of France, sister of Henry II., wife of Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of 
Savoy. Endowed with the most amiable and generous character, this princess had <i 
secret inclination towards the Reformed faith. She died in 1574, leaving a memory 
that was venerated in the churches of the valleys of Piedmont, whose cause sho 
pleaded several times with Emmanuel Philibert. See on this subject two letters of 
this princess to the Seigneury of Geneva, written in the month of June, 1566. Ar- 
chives de Genlve. No. 1680. 


362 BULLINGER. [1564. 


Sufferings of Calvin and the inefiBcacy of the healing art to relieve them — News of 

France and Germany. 

Geneva, &t7i April, 1564. 

I do not claim your indulgence for my long silence, respected 
brother, because you must have learned from others how just 
an excuse I have had for my delay, and which excuse I may in 
a great measure still allege.' For though the pain in my side 
is abated, my lungs are nevertheless so charged with phlegmatic 
humours that my respiration is difficult and interrupted. A cal- 
culus in my bladder also gives me very exquisite pain for the last 
twelve days. Add to that the anxious doubts we entertain about 
the possibility of curing it, for all remedies have hitherto proved 
ineffectual ; exercise on horseback would have been the best and 
most expeditious method of getting rid of it, but an ulcer in 
my abdomen gives me excruciating pain even when seated or 
lying in bed, so that the agitation of riding is out of the ques- 
tion. Within the last three days the gout has also been trouble- 
some. You will not be surprised then if so many united suffer- 
ings make me lazy. It is with much ado I can be brought to 
take any food. The taste of wine is bitter. But while I wish 
to discharge my duty in writing to you, I am only tiring out 
your patience with my insipid details. 

Respecting the affairs of France, Beza has promised to write ^ 

• Already the preceding year Calvin had been repeatedly forced to interrupt hia 
correspondence in consequence of the multiplied sufferings of his illness. His pious 
secretary Charles de Jonvillers wrote on this occasion to Bullinger : " These few words 
I have thought proper to add hurriedly, that you may know that M. Calvin is such a 
martyr to sufferings, that far from being able to write, he cannot even dictate anything 
to be sent to you, in consequence of the pressure of his disease. I know the high 
esteem in which he holds you, as you deserve, and I can scarcely write without tears. 
I entreat of you then that in your prayers and those of your whole church, you in the 
mean time commend to God both him and all of us." Letter of the 11th June, 1563. 
(Arch, of Zurich.) The days of the Reformer were already numbered, and before a year 
had elapsed, that great light was withdrawn from the church and the world. 

* In a letter of Beza's to Bullinger of the 4th May, 1564, may be remarked some 
affecting details respecting the malady of Calvin already so weak as to be incapable 

1564.] BULLiNaEK. 363 

to you. I dispense then with saying anything, not to repeat a 
twice told tale. I shall only allude to one subject however. 
You have heard long ago that the king has gone to Lorraine. 
The cause of his journey was a secret to the courtiers them- 
selves, but it was revealed to me lately by the person who was 
charged to convey instructions backwards and forwards. The 
envoy of the king to the emperor, and who formerly was among 
you at the time he was Abbot of St. Laurence, is holding out 
to the queen mother great and dazzling prospects from King 
Maximilian. But in the mean time he stipulates that the queen 
should not openly declare that she entertains any hopes. I 
make no doubt, therefore, but he will sell himself to the cardi- 
nal of Lorraine. For after having failed in all his projects, he 
conceives that his only remaining resource is to gain time by 
giving out these ambiguous intimations. I see no other fraud 
or treachery concealed in this mission, except to amuse the 
queen with false expectations, and bring himself forward by his 
insinuations, to undertake affairs which he will never bring to 
any conclusion. For it is evident that Roschetelle has made a 
false use of King Maximilian's name, since he childishly advises 
the queen to dissemble and keep everything a profound secret. 
But my cough and a difficulty of breathing leave me no voice 
to dictate any more. Farewell, then, venerable brother, along 
with Mr. Gualter, your other colleagues, and your whole family. 
May the Lord protect you all, enrich you more and more with 
his benefits, and sustain you by his power. I am unwilling to 
lose my pains in writing to you about the state of our city. — 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 107 a.] 

of acquitting himself of his epistolary duties. " But what gives us the most poignant 
distress is the uninterrupted sufferings of that most excellent man, our father and the 
faithful servant of God. Of his life, humanly speaking, we now utterly despair. He 
is alive, however, and thus indeed, as he had afforded us a rare example of an upright 
life, so now he furnishes us with one of a courageous and truly Christian death. But 
ah wretched, me ! what shall I do upon whom so overwhelming a charge devolves ?" 
(Library of Geneva, voL 118.) 

364 FAREL. , [1564. 

DCLXVIII.— To Farel. 

Last adieus. 

Geneva, 2nd 3Iay, 1564. 

Farewell, my most excellent and upright brother; and since 
it is the will of God that you should survive me in the world, 
live mindful of our intimacy, which, as it was useful to the 
church of God, so the fruits of it await us in heaven.* I am 
unwilling that you should fatigue yourself for my sake.=^ I draw 
my breath with difficulty, and every moment I am in expecta- 
tion of breathing my last. It is enough that I live and die for 
Christ, who is to all his followers a gain both in life and death. 
Again I bid you and your brethren Farewell. 
\^Lat. Copy. — Arcli. of N^euchdtel.] 

' It cannot fail to be interesting to produce along with this affecting adieu the noble 
testimony rendered by Farel to Calvin in a letter to Fabri of the 6th June, 1564 : " Oh 
why was I not taken away in his stead, and he preserved to the church which he has 
so well served, and in combats harder than death ? He has done more and with 
greater promptitude than any one, surpassing not only the others but himself. Oh, 
how happily he has run a noble race 1 May the Lord grant that we run like him, and 
according to the measure of grace that has been dealt out to us." 

'In spite of his great age Farel took a journey to see again once more his friend, 
his fellow labourer now on his death-bed. " And nevertheless, that excellent old man 
came to Geneva, and after they had an interview together, the following day he re- 
turned to NeuchSitel." Beza, Vita Calvini, 


* » 



In the name of God, be it known to all men by these presents 
that in the year 1564, and the 25th day of the month of April, 
I Peter Chenelat, citizen and sworn Notary of Geneva, have 
been sent for by SpectahW^ John Calvin, minister of the word 
of God in the Church of Geneva, and burgess of the said Geneva, 
who, being sick and indisposed in body alone, has declared to me 
his intention to make his testament and declaration of his last 
will, begging me to write it according as it should be by him 
dictated and pronounced, which, at his said request, I have done, 
and have written it under him, and according as he hath dictated 
and pronounced it, word for word, without omitting or adding 
anything — in form as follows : 

In the name of God, I John Calvin, minister of the word of 
God in the Church of Geneva, feeling myself reduced so low by 
diverse maladies, that I cannot but think that it is the will of 
God to withdraw me shortly from this world^ have advised to 
make and set down in writing my testament and declaration of 
my last will in form, as follows : 

' Epithet marking respect, used in title deeds, etc. 



In the first place, I render thanks to God, not only because 
he has had compassion on me, his poor creature, to draw me 
out of the abyss of idolatry in which I was plunged, in order to 
bring me to the light of his gospel and make me a partaker of 
the doctrine of salvation, of which I was altogether unworthy, 
and continuing his mercy he has supported me amid so many 
sins and short-comings, which were such that I well deserved to 
be rejected by him a hundred thousand times — but what is more, 
he has so far extended his mercy towards me as to make use of 
me and of my labour, to convey and announce the truth of his 
gospel ; protesting that it is my wish to live and die in this faith 
which he has bestowed on me, having no other hope nor refuge 
except in his gratuitous adoption, upon which all my salvation is 
founded ; embracing the grace which he has given me in our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and accepting the merits of his death and 
passion, in order that by this means all my sins may be buried ; 
and praying him so to wash and cleanse me by the blood of this 
great Redeemer, which has been shed for us poor sinners, that 
I may appear before his face, bearing as it were his image. 

I protest also that I have endeavoured, according to the 
measure of grace he has given me, to teach his word in purity, 
both in my sermons and writings, and to expound faithfully the 
Holy Scriptures ; and moreover, that in all the disputes I have 
had with the enemies of the truth, I have never made use of 
subtle craft nor sophistry, but have gone to work straight-for- 
wardly in maintaining his quarrel. But alas ! the desire which 
I have had, and the zeal, if so it must be called, has been so 
cold and so sluggish that I feel myself a debtor in everything 
and everywhere, and that, were it not for his infinite goodness, 
all the afiection I have had would be but as smoke, nay, that 
even the favours which he has accorded me would but render 
me so much the more guilty ; so that my only recourse is this, 
that being the Father of mercies he will show himself the Father 
of so miserable a sinner. 

Moreover, I desire that my body after my decease be in- 
terred in the usual manner, to wait for the day of the blessed 

Touching the little earthly goods which God has given me here 


to dispose of, I name and appoint for my sole heir, my well beloved 
brother Antony Calvin, but only as honorary heir however, leav- 
ing to him the right of possessing nothing save the cup Avhich I have 
had from Monsieur de Varennes,' and begging him to be satis- 
fied with that, as I am well assured he will be, because he knows 
that I do this for no other reason but that the little which I 
leave may remain to his children'. I next bequeath to the 
college ten crowns, and to the treasure of poor foreigners the 
same sum. Item, to Jane, daughter of Charles Costan and my 
half-sister,^ that is to say, by the father's side, the sum of ten 
crowns ; and afterwards to each of my nephews, Samuel and 
John, sons of my aforesaid brother,^ forty crowns ; and to each 
of my nieces, Anne, Susannah, and Dorothy, thirty crowns. 
As for my nephew David their brother, because he has been 
thoughtless and unsettled, I leave to him but twenty-five crowns 
as a chastisement.^ This is the total of all the property which 
God has given me, according as I have been able to value and 
estimate it, whether in books,^ furniture,^ plate, or anything 

' Guillauine de Trie, Seigneur deVarennes. He died in 1562, leaving the guardian- 
ship of his children to Calvin. 

* Mary, daughter by a second marriage of Gerard Calvin. She had quitted Noyou 
in 1536, to follow her brothers John and Antony to Switzerland. 

^ Antony Calvin had espoused in first marriage Anne de Fer, whom he divorced for 
adultery in 1557. He married again the 14th of January, 1560, with Antoinette 
Commelin, the widow of the minister of St. Andr^. He had by his first wife two 
sons, Samuel and David, and two daughters, Anne and Susannah ; by the second, a 
son, John, who died without posterity in 1601, and three daughters, Dorothy, Judith, 
and Mary, who died of the plague in 1574. Galiffe, Not. Geneal, vol. iii. p. 113. 

■• This David, as well as Samuel his brother, were disinherited by Antony Calvin, 
because of their "disobedience." 

* Calvin's books were purchased after his death by the Seigneury, as we see by the 
registers of the council, 8th July, 1564 : " Resolved to buy for the republic such of the 
books of Mr. Calvin as Mr. Beza shall judge proper. 

'A part of Calvin's furniture belonged to the republic of Geneva, as is proved by 
the inventory preserved in the archives. (No. 1426.) We extract from it the list of 
articles lent to the Reformer, 27th December, 1548, and restored to the seigneury after 
his death : 

1st A bedstead of walnut-tree wood, rough and unplaned; Item. A walnut-tree 
table of a square form jointed with iron; A bench turned on the lathe to correspond 
to this table; A buffet of walnut-tree jointed with iron; A walnut-tree wash hand 
stand; Another bedstead, planed by the joiner; A walnut wood chest, consolidated 
with iron ; A high-backed chair of polished walnut tree; A square wooden table; A 
polished walnut-tree buffet (has not been found) ; A coffer buffet ; A long bench 
turned on the lathe; Another square walnut wood table; A walnut wood bedstead; 


else. However, should the result of the sale amount to anything 
more, I mean that it should be distributed among my said 
nephews and nieces, not excluding David, if God shall have 
given him grace to be more moderate and staid. But I believe 
that on this subject there will be no difficulty, especially when 
ray debts shall be paid, as I have given charge to my brother 
on whom I rely, naming him executor of this testament along 
with the spectahle Laurence de Normandie, giving them all 
power and authority to make an inventory without any judicial 
forms, and sell my furniture to raise money from it in ord^r to 
accomplish the directions of this testament as it is here set down 
in writing, this 25th April, 1564. 

Witness my hand, 

John Calvin. 

After being written as above, at the same instant the said 
spectahle Calvin undersigned with his usual signature the minute 
of the said testament. And the following day, which was the 
26th of the month of April, the said spectahle Calvin sent for 
me a second time together with spectahle Theodore Beza, Ray- 
mond Chauvet, Michael Cop, Louis Enoch, Nicholas Coladon, 
Jacques Desbordes, ministers of the word of God in this church, 
and spectahle Henry Seringer, professor of letters, all burgesses 
of Geneva, in presence of whom he declared that he had caused 
me to write under him, and at his dictation, the said testament 
in the form, and with the same words as here above, praying me 
to read it aloud in the presence of the said witnesses sent for 
and required for that purpose, which I did with an audible voice, 
and word for word. After which reading he declared that such 
was his will and last disposition, desiring that it might be ob- 
served. And for still greater confirmation of the same, begged 
and requested the above mentioned persons to subscribe it along 
with me, which was also done on the year and day above written, 
at Geneva in the street called Des cJianoines, and the dwellinjr 

Four long tables with their trestles of fir, and another long table of walnut wood; A 
dozen forms good and bad (new ones given back in their stead) ; A desk for books. 
The present furniture given back this 25th September, 1564. 



house of the said testator. In faith of which, and to serve for 
sufficient proof, I have drawn up in the form as here above pre- 
sented, the present testament, in order to expedite it to whom it 
may concern, under the common seal of our most honourable 
seigneurs and superiors and my own usual sign-manual. 
Witness my hand, 

P. Chenalat. 

Calvin's Farewell to the Seigneurs of Geneva. 

Taken down by the Secretary of the Republic. 

[Follow the words and exhortations of spectable John Calvin, 
minister of the word of God in this church spoken this day, 27th 
April, 1564, to our most honourable seigneurs the Syndics and 

First, after having thanked Messeigneurs for the trouble they 
had taken in coming to his house, though his wish was to have 
had himself carried to the town house, he declared that he has 
always had the desire to address them once more ; and though 
heretofore he has been very low, nevertheless he was unwilling 
to hurry, inasmuch as God had not given him so precise an ad- 
vertisement as he does at present. 

Then after he had thanked them, because they had been 
pleased to do him more honour than was due to him, and to bear 
with him in many circumstances in which he stood in great 
need of their indulgence, he still considers himself so much the 
more obliged to the said seigneurs that they have always shown 
him such marks of affection, that it was impossible for them to 
show more. True it is that while he has resided here, he has 
had many combats and subjects of vexation, as no doubt all good 
men must be tried, yet none of these were owing to Messeigneurs. 
He prays them then, if he has not done what he ought to have 
done, that Messeigneurs will be pleased to take the will for the 
deed, for he has desired the good of this city, and has contri- 
buted to it, but he is far from having accomplished all his duty 



in respect to it. It is true he does not deny that God has made 
use of him as an instrument for the little he has done, and if he 
said otherwise he should be a hypocrite; he begs then again to 
be excused for having done so little in proportion to what he 
was bound to do, both in public and private, and he feels per- 
j suaded that Messeigneurs have borne with his natural disposition 
by far too vehement, and with which he is offended, and with his 
other vices as God also has been. 

Moreover, he protests before God and before Messeigneurs, 
that he has made it his endeavour to speak in purity the word 
which God has confided to him, making sure not to walk at 
random nor in error. Otherwise he should expect a condemna- 
tion on his head, not doubting, as we see, but that the devil, 
whose only aim is to pervert, stirs up wicked people, having the 
spirit of madness to aim at the same end. 

For the rest, it is necessary that Messeigneurs should have a 
short word of exhortation. For they see in what position they 
are placed, and whether they fancy they shall stand in surety 
Or shall be threatened, it behoves them always to keep in mind 
that God wishes to be honoured, and that he reserves to himself 
the right of maintaining both public states and private condi- 
tions, and wills that we do him homage, by recognizing that we 
are wholly dependent on him. We have an example in David, 
who confesses that when he was quietly settled in his kingdom, 
he forgot himself so far as to have stumbled mortally, if God had 
not had compassion upon him. 

And if a man who was so excellent a . . .^ both trembles and 
stumbles, what should we who are nothing feel? We shall have 
much occasion to humble ourselves, keeping ourselves concealed 
under the wings of God on whom should repose all our confi- 
dence. And though we are, as it were, suspended by a thread, 
we should trust that he will continue to protect us as in times 
past, since we have experienced already that he has saved us in 
divers ways. 

If our Lord gives us prosperity, we rejoice. But when we are 
assailed on all sides, and it seems that there is a host of evils 
encompassing us, we ought not for all that to cease to have con- 

' A word is here left in blank in the registers. 


fidence in him, and how often soever, and in what manner soever 
we may be taken by surprise, let us know that it is God who 
wills to awaken us, to the end, that we may humble ourselves 
and take shelter under his wings. 

And if we desire to be maintained in our present condition, 
we must beware that the seat in which we have been placed be 
not dishonoured; for he says he will honour those who shall 
honour him, and on the contrary will bring to disgrace those 
who shall despise him. 

There is no superiority but from God, who is King of kings, 
and Lord of lords. 

This is said in order that we may serve him in purity accord- 
ing to his word, and think of him more than ever. For we are 
very far indeed from acquitting ourselves fully of that duty, and 
with such integrity as we ought to do. 

For the rest, he has said that all our conduct and whatever 
we do is open to his eyes ; we stand then in great need of being 

Every one has his imperfections. It is our duty to examine 
them. Wherefore let each one look to himself and combat 

Some are indifferent, absorbed by their own affairs, and but 
little concerned about the public good ; others are given up to 
their passions. 

Others, when God has bestowed on them a spirit of prudence, 
do not make use of it. 

Others are wedded to their opinions, wishing to be held for 
oracles, to seem something, to be in credit and reputation. 

Let the old not bear envy towards the young, for the grace 
they may have received, but let them rejoice and bless God for 
having bestowed it on them. 

Let the young continue to be modest, without wishing to put 
themselves forward too much ; for there is always a boastful 
character in young folks, who cannot bridle themselves, and who 
push on in despising pthers. 

Do not discourage one another, be not an obstacle to one 
another, do not make yourselves odious to one another. For 
when animosities are kindled, people fall off from their duty. 


And to avoid Inconveniences, let every one walk according to his 
rank, and busy himself according as God has given him means 
to support this republic. 

As to civil or criminal processes — cast from you all favour, 
hatred, crooked means, recommendations, and renounce all self- 
interest, holding by integrity and equity ; and if ever you are 
tempted to swerve from them, resist and be firm, looking unto 
Him who hath established us, and praying him to conduct us by 
his Holy Spirit, and he will not fail us. 

Finally, after having again begged to be excused and sup- 
ported in his infirmities, which he will not deny (for since God 
and the angels know them, he will not deny them before men), 
and to accept with good will his small labours, he prayed God 
to conduct and govern us, continually increasing his grace in 
us, and causing it to turn to our own salvation and that of all 
this poor people.' 

[Orig. Minute. — Arch, of Geneva, 1564.] 

Calvin's Farewell to the Ministers of Geneva. 

Taken down by the minister Pinant." 

[On Friday, 28th April, 1564, taken down by (Pinant) and 
written as pronounced as nearly as the memory could preserve 
it word for word, though in a slightly difierent order with re- 
spect to some words and phrases.] 

Brethren, inasmuch as I have had something to say to you, 

' Whereupon, says Beza, having prayed [Messeigneurs] to forgive him all his faults 
which no one thought greater than himself, he held out his hand to them. I do not 
know if there could have happened to these seigneurs a more sad spectacle, who all 
with prcat justice considered him, in respect of his ofBce, as the mouth of the Lord, 
and in respect of his affection as their father. Indeed be had known and instructed 
a part of them from their youth. 

'There exists in the fine archives of Colonel Henry Tronchin, a second account of 
Calvins' Farewell by an unknown person, B. B., called Corneille. With less precision 
and naivete, in the details, it fully confirms the exactness of the former in all essential 
points. Perhaps we shall give the reader pleasure in quoting as variations, some 
traits borrowed from this second account, likewise unedited. 


■whicli concerns not only this churcli, but also several others, 
which in a certain manner depend on it, it will be good to begin 
with prayer, in order that God may give me grace to say every 
thing without ambition, always having a respect to his glory, 
and also that every one may retain and profit by what shall be 

It may be thought that I am too precipitate in concluding 
my end to be drawing near, and that I am not so ill as I per- 
suade myself; but I assure you, that though I have often felt 
myself very ill, yet I have never found myself in such a state, 
nor so weak as I am. When they take me to put me in bed, 
my head fails me and I swoon away forthwith. There is also 
this shortness of breathing, which oppresses me more and more. 
I am altogether different from other sick persons, for when their 
end is approaching their senses fail them and they become de- 
lirious. With respect to myself, true it is that I feel stupefied, 
but it seems to me that God wills to concentrate all my senses 
within me,' and I believe indeed that I shall have much diflB- 
culty and that it will cost me a great effort to die. I may per- 
haps lose the faculty of speech, and yet preserve my sound 
sense ; * but I have also advertised my friends of that and told 
them what I wished them to do for me, and it is for this very 
reason I have desired to speak with you before God call me 
away ; not that God may not indeed do otherwise than I think ; 
it would be temerity on my part to wish to enter into his 
I When I first came to this church, I found almost nothing in 

) it.^ There was preaching and that was all. They would look 
out for idols it is true, and they burned them. But there was no 
reformation. Everything was in disorder. There was no doubt 
the good man Master William,'* and then blind Courant (not 

' " As to his senses he is in full possession of them, and they are more subtle than 
ever, but nature is fast sinking." . . Relat. de B. B. dit Corneille. 

'" That he has often predicted that he should be deprived of speech some days be- 
fore his death, and he still believes it." Ibidem. 

s " When he came to this town ... he found it without morals, discipline, or life." 

* Farel. 


born blind, but he became so at B^le).' There was besides 
Master Antony Saulnier,^ and that fine preacher Froment, who 
having laid aside his apron got up into the pulpit, then went 
back to his shop where he prated, and thus gave a double 

I have lived here amid continual bickerings. I have been 
from derision saluted of an evening before my door with forty 
or fifty shots of an arquebuse. How think you must that have 
astonished a poor scholar timid as I am, and as I have always 
been, I confess?"* 

Then afterwards I was expelled from this town and went 
away to Strasbourg, and when I had lived there some time I was 
called back hither, but I had no less trouble when I wished to 
discharge my duty than heretofore. They set the dogs at my 
heels, crying. Here ! h^re ! ^ and these snapped at my gown and 
my legs. I went my way to the council of the two hundred 
when they were fighting, and I kept back the others who wanted 
to go, and who had nothing to do there ; and though they boast 
that it was they who did everything, like M. de Saulx,^ yet I 
was there, and as I entered, people said to me, " Withdraw, sir, 
we have nothing to say to you." I replied, " I will do no such 
thing — come, come, wicked men that you are ; kill me, and my 
blood will rise up against you, and these very benches will re- 
quire it." Thus I have been amid combats, and you will expe- 
rience that there will be others not less but greater. For you 

 Enlightening souls — though he had become blind as to his body." Hist. Eecl., 
vol. i. p. 15. 

"Banished from Geneva in 1538, Saulnier became the minister of the Church of 
Morges. The date of his death is not known. 

^It is known that Froment first presented himself at Geneva as a schoolmaster. 
Of a vain and inconstant spirit, he was incapable of maintaining his dignity in the 
glorious part of a missionary of the Reformation. In 1553 he abandoned the ofiBce of 
the ministry, bought the charge of a notary, and merited on more than one occasion 
for his inconsiderate conduct the censures of the seigneury. 

•*..." and repeated twice or thrice these words : I assure you I am naturally 
timid and fearful." Beza, Vie de Calvin. The same confession is several times ex- 
pressed in the preface of the Commentary on the Psalms, a real autobiography of the 

" Term of the chase — a young fawn of a year old. 

'Is it the minister Nicholas des Gallars, otherwise called M. de SauleS? He was 
pastor in 1564 of the church of Orleans. 


are a perverse and unhappy nation, and though there are good 
men in it the nation is perverse and wicked, and you will have 
troubles when God shall have called me away ; for though 
I am nothing, yet know I well that I have prevented three 
thousand tumults that would have broken out in Geneva.' But 
take courage and fortify yourselves, for God will make use of 
this church and will maintain it, and assures you that he will 
protect it. 

I have had many infirmities which you have been obliged to 
bear with, and what is more, all I have done has been worth 
nothing. The ungodly will greedily seize upon this word, but 
I say it again that all I have done has been worth nothing, and 
that I am a miserable creature. But certainly I can say this 
that I have willed what is good, that ray vices have always dis- 
pleased me, and that the root of the fear of God has been in my ^ 
heart; and you may say that the disposition was good; and I 
pray you, that the evil be forgiven me, and if there was any 
good, that you conform yourselves to it and make it an ex- 

As to my doctrine, I have taught faithfully, and God has 
given me grace to write what I have written as faithfully as it 
was in my power. I have not falsified a single passage of the 
Scriptures, nor given it a wrong interpretation to the best of 
my knowledge; and though I might have introduced subtle 
senses, had I studied subtilty, I cast that temptation under my 
feet and always aimed at simplicity.^ 

I have written nothing out of hatred to any one, but I have 
always faithfully propounded what I esteemed to be for the glory 
of God. 

As to our internal state, you have elected M. Beza to hold 
my place. Advise how to relieve him, for the charge is great, 
and so weighty that he might well sink under the load. But 

' " That this town would be assaulted from without, but that God wished to make 
use of it, who ought to be for us an inexpugnable rock to induce us not to quit it." 
Relat. de B. B, dit Corneille. 

' " He prays his brethren to forgive him for having been so violent, choleric, and 
hasty." Ibid. 

' " Made no use of sophistry, and wishes to live and die la the doctrine which he 
had, and prays his brethren to persevere in it." Ibid. 


advise how to support him. Of him I know that he has a good 
will and will do what he can. 

Let every one consider the obligation which he has not only 
to this church but also to the city, which you have promised 
to serve in adversity as well as in prosperity; thus let each 
keep by his vocation and not endeavour to retire from it 
nor enter into cabals. For when people go under ground 
to seek for shifts, they may say indeed that they did not 
reflect, and that they did aim at this or that. But let them 
consider the obligation that they have here contracted before 

And study too that that there be no bickerings or sharp 
words among you, as sometimes biting gibes will be bandied 
about.' This will take place, it is true, in laughing, but there 
will be bitterness in the heart. All that is good for nothing, 
and is even contrary to a Christian disposition. You should 
then guard against it, and live in good accord and all friendship 
and sincerity.'^ 

I had forgotten this point : I pray you make no change, no 

innovation. People often ask for novelties. Not that I desire 

for my own sake out of ambition that what I have established 

J,! should remain, and that people should retain it without wishing 

^ for something better, but because all changes are dangerous and 

i_ sometimes hurtful. 

On my return from Strasbourg, I composed the catechism 
and in haste, for I would never accept the ministry till they 
had taken an oath respecting these two points: namely, to 
preserve the catechism and discipline ; and while I was writing 
it, they came to fetch bits of paper as big as my hand and carry 
them to the printing oflSce. Though Master Peter Viret was 
then in this town, do you think I ever showed him a word of it ? 
I never had leisure; I have sometimes indeed thought of putting 
a finishing hand to it if I had had leisure. 

As to the prayers for the Sabbath I adopted the form of 

• " He has not known such love and kindly feeling to exist among you as he could 
have wished, hut rather covert piques and banterings. That all should be on a more 
friendly footing than formerly." Jbid. 

' " Love one another, support one another. Let there be no envy." Ibid. 


Strasbourg, and borrowed the greater part of it. Of the other 
prayers, I could not take any part from that formulary, for it 
contained nothing of the kind ; but I took the whole from the 
Holy Scriptures. 

I was also obliged to compose a formulary of baptism when I 
was at Strasbourg, where people brought me the children of 
Anabaptists from five or six leagues ofi" to have them baptized. 
I then composed this unpolished formulary, which I would, not 
advise you, notwithstanding, to change. y 

The Church of (Berne) ^ has betrayed this one, and they 
have always feared me more than they loved me. I am desirous 
they should know that I died in the opinion that they feared j 
rather than loved me, and even now they fear me more than 
they love me, and have always been afraid lest I should disturb 
them about their eucharisty.* 

This remark ought to have been introduced before in some 
place of which I have not a distinct recollection. 

He made use of the aforesaid words. I have not set them 
down in doubt or uncertainty. I doubt not but he himself 
would have set them down better, and would have said more. 
But what I did not recollect with the most perfect distinctness 
I have left out. He took a courteous leave of all the brethren 
who shook him by the hand, one after the other, all melting 
into tears. 

Written the 1st day of May, 1564, on the 27th day of which 
month he died.^ 

Ultima Calvinus nobis quae verba locutus, 
Quae meminisse mihi lieu it, certoque referre, 
Hie mihi descripsi monumentum, sed mihi soli. 

J. P. M." 

' There is a blank space left for a word in the two narratives. 

* " That those of . . . betrayed this church at the time of his banishment for the 
sake of the eucharisty and even now fear him more than they love him. He desires 
that they should know that he departed this life with such an opinion of them." 
Relat. de B.B. dit Corneille. 

3 " In the Minutes of the Consistory of Geneva, we read these words with a simple 
cross t opposite to the name of Calvin : " Gone to God, May 27th of the present year, 
between 8 and 9 o'clock, P. M." 

■*Jean Pinant, minister. • 



["The last words which Calvin addressed to us, as far as 
I could remember, and with certainty relate them, I have 
here written down as a memorial for myself, but for myself 

[ Ong. Minute. — -Arch, of M. Tronchin at Geneva.] 




» » 

I. — To Fkancis Daniel.^ 

Preparations for his departure for Switzerland — Recommendation of a physician. 

Paris, 1634. 

I had resolved not to write to you at so unpropitious a 
moment, but a subject for doing so has presented itself to me, 
which I could not anticipate. While I was occupied with the 
preparations for my departure I had a severe attack of diarrhsea, 
to check which I called in the bearer of this letter, a man well 
skilled in the healing art, and perfectly free from quackery. 
While treating me he mentioned his intention of going to settle 
at Orleans, where he expects to find a good opening for the ex- 
ercise of his profession. I have thought it my duty to furnish 
him with a letter of recommendation, that he might not arrive 
in your city a stranger to everybody. I ask of you then, as a 
pledge of our friendship, to welcome him and give him what 
assistance may be in your power. I am not ignorant how grave 
a responsibility he assumes, who recommends a physician, for 
should you commend an unworthy one, you hold out a ^^ord to 
an assassin for the destruction of the public, as you prepare the 
way for one to inflict death on great numbers ; since the 

' Without a date. Written according to all probability from Paris, in June or July, 
1534, at the moment when Calvin was preparing to quit France in order to retire to 


382 BUCBR. [1538. 

physician, as it has been remarked, may commit murder with 
impunity. Of this man, however, I am not afraid to affirm that 
he is thoroughly instructed in the theory of his art, and so well 
versed in its practice as not readily to make any slips from igno- 
rance. With that, his probity is equal to his talent. For these 
things I pledge my honour both to you and others, and I beg 
you to do all in your power to induce those to have recourse 
with all confidence to his talents, who otherwise might not 
venture, where their lives are at stake, to make trial of a man 
quite unknown. What my projects are, you already know from 
our friend Francis, and you may learn from the bearer. Salute 
for me, your mother, wife, sister, etc. 

John Calvin. 

[Lat. Orig. — Library of Berne. Vol. 141.] 

11. —To BUCER.» 

Unsuccessful results of the Colloquy of Berne — Sacramentarian discord — Remarkable 
judgment concerning Luther — Violence of the Bernese Minister Conzen — Appeal 
to Bucer. 

Geneva, Vlth January, 1538. 

I have a good many things to write to you about, things too 
by no means agreeable, had I a little more leisure ; write how- 

' One of the first acts of Farel and Calvin during their oonimon ministry at Geneva, 
was the drawing up of a confession of faith which the citizens solemnly took oath to 
observe. But this confession resolutely opposed by an ardent minority, which was 
at a later period stigmatized under the name of the Libertines, encountered every day 
grave difiSculties in practice, particularly in what concerned ecclesiastical excommu- 
nication. The Seigneurs of Berne, chosen for arbiters, showed themselves but little 
disposed to resolve the difficulties in a sense conformable to the wishes of the minis- 
ters. Pre-occupied above all by the rights of the civil authority and the demands of 
external unity, they urged the ministers of Geneva to conform to the usages of the 
Church of Berne, " in order to deprive their enemies of every subject of calumny." 
Whilst at Berne they communicated with unleavened bread, administered baptism on 
fonts of stone, and celebrated the great religious festivals, not one of these usages was 
followed at Geneva, and this difference in practice occasioned much coldness betweea 
the two churches. Several Bernese ministers had even been censured and revoked 
for having shown themselves too favourable to the doctrine of Calvin. Among them 
was Gaspar Megander. (Vol. i. p. 47, 141). Calvin deplored these differences be- 
tween the Swiss Churches, just as he bewailed the discords which the Sacramentarian 

1538.] BUCEK. 383 

ever I must, as much as my very limited time will permit, since 
to me it will be no slight consolation, to confide to your friendly 
bosom, the evils which oppress us. In the letter which I wrote 
to Capito from Berne, I exulted as if matters had been termi- 
nated to our satisfaction ; and who would have entertained any 
doubts about the success of so good a cause ? For our confes- 
sion, which was then the point in question, was judged by the 
ministers to be a devout production, and an oath in confirmation 
of it was with the highest propriety exacted by the people ; what 
remained but that a deputation should be named to cure the 
wound which had been inflicted by the former deputies of Berne ? 
That was not obtained without the greatest difiiculty, but when 
even those who were actuated by the most iniquitous sentiments 
could not oppose our demand, deputies were appointed to settle 
this question, who it was very sure would never undertake the 
task for which they had been selected. As soon as they re- 
fused, the duty was entrusted to those among whom the evil had 
arisen ; but that you may understand how little seriousness there 
was in this measure, the moment that the feeblest rumor of 
public report indicated to what issue things so well prepared 
were tending, these new deputies were immediately recalled. 

I dare not give way to too malignant suspicions, but all de- 
clare that those who take such delight in distuubances and sedi- 
tions are watching for an opportunity of making innovations. 
A short time after that, it was announced that Megander had 
left the country by a sentence of banishment. This news was 
as great a blow to us as if we had heard that the Church of 
Berne had for the most part fallen off. I begin to fear, my dear 
Bucer, that we are aiming at an agreement ^ which will have to 

question had given birth to in Germany, and without perhaps making all the conces- 
sions necessary to appease them, he pronounced the most remarkable judgment re- 
specting Luther, while at the same time he addressed to Bucer pressing exhortations 
to determine him to accomplish unequivocally and without weakness his duties as a 
conciliator between the parties. 

' Calvin had drawn up in concert with Bucer, Capito, Farel, and Viret, a declara- 
tion on the subject of the sacrament of the Lord's supper, which, keeping at an equal 
distance from the interpretation of Luther and that of Zwingli, seemed calculated to 
conciliate people's minds, (Opera, vol. ix. p. ,) but it only envenomed the discords 
which were destined at a later period, in Germany especially, to end in a veritable 
persecution against the Calvinists . 

884 BUCER. [1538. 

be sanctioned by tbe sacrifice and blood of many pious men, nor 
is this the phrase of a man who wishes to draw back, but of one 
who desires such an agreement as all good men could join us in. 
And if we have this at heart, all those perplexing difficulties 
which it seems might restrain the more timid, will be swept 
away. But these, which we ourselves thought were to be op- 
posed, are that Luther should not give scope to his wild fancy, 
about our flesh being as it were a graff into that of Christ's, or 
that of Christ's into ours, nor feign that Christ's body is of in- 
finite extension, nor impose upon us a local presence : for there 
is hardly any one of those who have hitherto protested who does 
not suspect something of this kind. If Luther can cordially 
accept of us along with our confession, there is nothing which I 
could more willingly desire; but in the mean time he is not the 
only one in the church of God to be looked up to. For we 
should be cruel and barbarous if we made no account of the 
many thousands who are cruelly domineered over under pretext 
of that agreement. 

What to think of Luther I know not, though I am thoroughly 
convinced of his piety; but I wish it were false, what is com- 
monly said by most people, who in other respects would be very 
unwilling to be unjust to him, that with his firmness there is 
mixed up a good deal of obstinacy. His conduct affords us no 
slight grounds for entertaining this suspicion. If that is true 
which I understood to be rumored about lately in the churches 
of Wurtemberg, that they had compelled nearly all the churches 
to recognize error, how much vainglory, pray, is there in such 
conduct? If we were not afflicted with the malady of ambition, 
would it not have been enough for us that Christ should be 
deemed veracious, and that his truth should shine forth in the 
hearts of men ? I see indeed what will come of all this. Nothing 
can be safe as long as that rage for contention shall agitate us. 
All recollections of past times must then be buried in oblivion, 
if we look for a solid peace. For the contest was so keen and 
so much embittered, that it is not possible to bring it to mind 
without kindling at least some sparks of strife; and if Luther 
has so great a lust of victory, he will never be able to join along 
with us in a sincere agreement respecting the pure truth of God. 

1538.] BUCER. 385 

For he has sinned against it not only from vainglory and abusive 
language, but also from ignorance and the grossest extravagance. 
For what absurdities he pawned upon us in the beginning, when 
he said the bread is the very body ! And if now he imagines 
that the body of Christ is enveloped by the bread, I judge that 
he is chargeable with a very foul error. What can I say of the 
partisans of that cause ? Do they not romance more wildly than 
Marcion respecting the body of Christ ? If the Swiss should take 
upon them to inveigh against such mistakes, how would this pave 
the way for an agreement? 

Wherefore if you have any influence or authority over Martin, 
use it to dispose him to prefer subduing to Christ, rather than to 
himself, those with whom he has hitherto wrangled in the most 
inauspicious of strifes; nay, that he himself submit to the truth 
which he is now manifestly attacking. Here what should have 
been done was that every one should ingenuously confess of his 
own accord his own error, and I could not help protesting to 
you as I think you yourself recollect, that those wily insinua- 
tions by which you attempted to excuse yourself and Zwingli 
displeased me. It is not in the mean time by any means becoming 
to insult one another. Would that all these reproaches might 
fall upon my head, and yet I am fully convinced in my own 
mind that I have never been so abandoned by God since I began 
to taste of his word, as not to preserve a pious sense of the use 
of the sacraments and of our participation of the body of Christ. 
There is nothing certainly in my introduction to contradict this; 
and even should we grant that there was an absurd shame in 
one party of confessing their fault, who would not after all ex- 
cuse this feeling compared with what is said of the insolent fury 
of Martin ? 

Wherefore, my dear Bucer, you must strive that all things be 
properly adjusted on both sides. A difficult task, you will say ; 
I admit it, certainly ; but since you have taken it upon you, 
you must labour seriously, I do not say to fulfil it, but to en- 
deavour to do so. How intolerable do you think it appears 
that so many, and by no means contemptible churches of the 
whole of Saxony, when they have shown their readiness to 
come to an equitable agreement, should be kept so long in 


86 BUCER. [1538. 

suspense! If then you ask of the Swiss to lay aside their ob- 
stinacy, contrive that Luther in his turn cease to bear himself 
so imperiously. But I return to Megander (Grossman). He 
was forced to go into exile, because he could not bear to sub- 
scribe to your corrections,' Will you not say it was sufficient 
cause for bearing hard upon him, that without reason he opposed 
the truth? What would you say if on the contrary he was pre- 
pared without any constraint to bear witness to the truth? 
What then was the cause why he did not accept the things 
which had been well said by another? Grant that here he 
showed some of that infirmity which is incident to our nature : 
was it not better that such a man should have been retained, 
by looking over that trifling weakness, than that he should be 
driven from his ministry with so much scandal, to the great 
contempt of God everywhere, with so great a loss to the church, 
and greater danger for the time to come? How saucily the 
enemies of the gospel now triumph on all sides, because pastors 
begin to be driven into exile! How licentiously they make 
a mock of the gospel of God ! In what derision they hold us, 
who, having the most powerful and well appointed adversaries 
drawn up in battle array against us, are nevertheless dispatching 
one another with mutual wounds ! What moreover will the weak 
do when they see their pastors punished with exile on whose 
mouths they formerly hung? 

Finally you are not aware how immense the loss which the 
Church of Berne has sustained in being despoiled of such a 
pastor, I confidently declare, you do not know what we all 
know, viz: that in this matter you are blinded, or certainly 
grievously mistaken. Sebastian (the elder) and Conzen no 
doubt are left to them. But what can the former of these do, 
but subvert by his wild errors the purity of the gospel ? For I 
lately detected what superstitious principles he cherishes, with 
what difficulty he admitted that the dogma of the schoolmen 
about the seven sacraments is but empty trifling, and how 
wickedly he fumed up because marriage and absolution were 
not received by us into the number of the sacraments. And 
should we wink at these absurdities, he is not the less, as all 

' On Megaoder's catechisrn. 

1538.] BUCER. 387 

men see, totally unequal to the task of governing tlie churcli, 
especially in times so difficult. He has so bad a memory withal 
that he stutters and hesitates at every third word. If you irri- 
tate him, he is carried away by the violence of his temper to 
such a degree as no longer to seem in his right senses ; and if 
you assent to him, you may lead him like a child wherever you 
please. You will say that I am accustomed to fulminate in my 
letters, but to soften down when I come to grapple with actual 
business. Certainly it is not one of my habits to wrangle. But "7 
I cannot refrain from expressing what I feel in plain words, both 
before people's faces and in my letters. You will estimate that 
disposition as you please, but when I have carefully weighed how 
■j much sincerity is preferable to cunning, I fancy you will not 
think I should do such violence to my natural character as not 
frankly to open my mind to you about what I see to be true, for 
I know the man to whom I reveal my thoughts. I dare hardly 
express what sort of person Conzen is. By your moderation 
and forbearance indeed he seemed to us a little tamed, and a 
short while ago, he made a wonderful show of activity in our 
business ; the moment is gone by, and he is become worse than / 
his very self. Farel declares he never saw a wild beast more 
rabid, than he found him lately. His countenance, gestures, 
words, his very colour breathed, as he says, fury. What- 
ever excuses therefore may be made for him hereafter, until I 
perceive that he is changed, I shall deem him charged with 
venom, for what is his reason, pray, for hating us so mortally, 
as to be incessantly plotting against us every extremity of evil? 
If you are not convinced of this, the Lord sees it, who in time 
will show himself an avenger, and satisfied with his judgment, 
we are not very anxiously concerned about the opinions of the 
mass of men, though we make it our study so to conduct our- 
selves that no one may be able with justice to condemn us. For 
which reason we act towards him so that he may understand 
that we are not unfriendly to him, however hostile he may be to 
us ; we soothe him with so much moderation that he cannot give 
loose to his fury against us unless by an act of open insanity. 
In our judgments I confess we differ as widely as possible from 
him, for those whom he raises to the ministry of the word, we 

388 BUCEK. [1538. 

deem very fit subjects for the gallows. And that you may know 
how preposterously he acts, I will tell you that the good men 
who have been approved by us, he dare not choose, unless they 
have been examined by the whole class of that district for which 
they are intended ; but those who have by the whole class 
been judged unworthy, he not only invests with ecclesiastical 
functions, but cherishes as his bosom companions. Those who 
have been stigmatized as Anabaptists, or detected in thefts, he 
obtrudes on the unwilling brethren. In the mean time the most 
pious, learned, and prudent man in this neighbourhood is called 
in question by two magistrates, apprehended, vexed with more 
than usual inhumanity, and treated with an extreme violence by 
those two creatures of Konzen's, plying all their arts to ruin 
him. What can we augur from such beginnings ? While he 
thinks he is getting up scourges to lash us, I suspect he is plot- 
ting his own destruction. And in sooth, if such be the will of 
the Lord, may he be caught in the snare which he has set, and 
fall headlong into the pit he has dug, rather than he should 
create so many vexations to the church of Christ any longer. 
What renders your cause so very odious to many judicious men 
at Berne, is that, their pastor being sent into banishment, they 
see this truculent wild beast left among them. To what pur- 
pose these complaints ? you will say. To this end then, that, if it 
is in your power, you diligently cast about for some remedy. 
If none is within your reach, that along with us you pray the 
Lord, that he would not suffer us to be driven from the right 
path by these menaced terrors, but would deliver his flock from 
the gluttony of beasts of prey. 

And now, we think it expedient (I speak in my own name 
and in that of my colleagues) to put in a word of admonition for 
yourself, and we venture to take that liberty with you, trusting 
to the singular moderation of your character. What we would 
suggest to your consideration is this: In expounding the word 
of God, and especially in those points that are so much the sub- 
ject of controversy in our day, you study to soften down your 
expressions, so as to give offence to as few persons as possible. 
You do so, we are persuaded, with the best intentions. But this 
manner of proceeding meets with our greatest disapprobation. 

1538.] BUCER. 389 

You know that we formerly expressed our sentiments on that 
subject, and now we are compelled to reiterate anew the old com- 
plaint, because we perceive that those precautions of yours to 
treat all things smoothly is becoming every day more hurtful. 
I know what you used to allege as an excuse — that the minds 
of the more simple are not to be alienated from religion by con- 
tentious disputes, whom it were better to attract by every means, 
provided they be conciliated by nothing which may not be con- 
ceded Avithout impiety. I answer you, as I always have done, 
if you wish to make Christ acceptable to all, you are not, how- 
ever, to construct a new gospel ; and certainly it is manifest to 
what these things will tend. When you have heard that the 
invocation of the saints was devised by the superstition of men 
rather than founded on the word of God, you immediately add, 
however, we owe that deference to the authority of the holy 
fathers that an invocation of the kind that is recommended in 
their writings is not to be entirely condemned. Thus you are 
continually in the habit of obtruding their authority under 
colour of which any falsity may pass for truth. 

Is it truly sanctifying God, to pay such deference to men, as 
that his truth should not alone bear sway over us ? Does that man 
not sufficiently honour the fathers who conceives that they are 
not to be contemned, even though they are found to have erred 
in many things? If human wantonness cannot be restrained, 
but must needs go farther and farther astray when once you 
have given it loose reins, what moderation, pray, shall we keep, 
when it shall be granted that we may with impunity overstep 
the limits of God's word? Nor is it in one point you do that, 
but everywhere you seem to wish to share a kind of divided 
empire between Christ and the Pope. We do not say that you 
actually do this ; we do not even suspect it. But quick-sighted 
people who are of a wily turn of mind fancy they can detect 
such a tendency, while the more simple interpreting your con- 
duct as a retraction of the truth are thrown into terrible per- 
plexity. You began this practice in your commentaries on the 
psalms, a work but for that of superlative merit, but that pious 
shuffling of yours, under another title, was to a certain extent 
overlooked, though to confess to you frankly, it always appeared 

390 BUCER. [1538. 

to me a thing utterly intolerable that in the work in question 
you overturned from its foundations the doctrine of justification 
by faith, yet people thought they might in some measure tolerate 
a treasure so precious in certain respects to be disseminated 
over all Europe. Bnt when your celebrated pamphlet against 
Cerealis began to be read, there was no pious man who did not 
exclaim, that it was a most unworthy thing that the gospel 
should be shrouded under so many enigmatical explications by 
such a preacher of the gospel. It is a book which no one will 
deny to be full of the most profound erudition, written, with ex- 
quisite art and no ordinary degree of research, but so thickly 
bestowed with blemishes that many people would wish them 
corrected by a single sweeping erasure. I doubt not but you 
yourself will have the same opinion when you know what fruits 
this book will produce in France and England. Whatever you 
published since has likewise an admixture of baser matter. 
And do not fancy that, carried away by any desire of differing 
with you, I am judging rather unfairly and maliciously of your 

The Lord is my witness that it is not with the mind alone, 
but with my very bowels, that I dissent as often as I see that I 
do not agree with pious men, and especially with you whose 
most excellent gifts besides your piety I cannot but cherish and 
look up to. But when I have brought myself to the greatest 
kindliness of feeling, still there are certain things which I cannot 
assent to without doing violence to the testimony of my con- 
science. And indeed, I am wont to wonder what can be your 
drift in this manner of acting. For while you exhort us to seek 
for an agreement with Luther, you attach just so much value to 
- your advice as to afiirm that nothing should appear in our eyes 
of greater importance, than with united minds and arms to join 
in battle against the falsehoods of Satan. In that moderation 
you are so unlike Luther, that I imagine he himself Avould be 
more gravely offended by your manner of acting, should he 
chance to light upon your works, than he formerly was with 
the opinion of Zwingli and CEcolampadius. For the most odious 
imputation with which he loaded the Sacramentarians was that 

1538.] BUCER. 391 

by them justification by faith was overthrown, or certainly shaken 
and compromised. 

These things, well beloved and most honoured brother, we 
jointly complain of to yourself, not without the most poignant 
distress, because we perceive the commencements of a mighty 
ruin to many, if you determine to go on as you have begun. 
For you know what powerful instruments for good and evil those 
are whom the Lord has furnished and equipped with superior 
learning, genius, and wisdom. Certainly you have been raised 
to such an eminence, and hold such a rank in the church of 
Christ, that most men have their eyes fixed on you. Wherefore 
be not surprised if we exact more rigidly a certain faultless 
perfection from you, than we generally do from others, since we 
know that you ought to march in the van, and point out the 
way to vast numbers. When we petty dwarfs fail in our duty, 
as the consequences are less disastrous, so greater indulgence is 
shown us. But you, from whose example much more serious 
evil arises, it is the duty of the church to confine by much stricter 
ties. May the Lord preserve you and increase in you his gifts, 
most worthy and dearest brother. May I beg of you to salute 
Capito very respectfully in my name. Farel and two of my 
other colleagues salute you both. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 

I had omitted what should not have occupied the last place 
in my letter. All the ministers that ofiiciate in the churches 
of our neighbours, have been interdicted from having any inter- 
course or holding any communication whatever with us. See to 
what these subjects of strife lead — to nothing truly but the total 
ruin of the churches. But we have to thank Conzen for this 
good turn. 

[Lat. Copy. — Arch. Eccl. of Berne. ^ 

392 BULLINGER. [1538. 


An account of the conferences at Berne — Vain attempt at reconciliation between 
Geneva and the exiled ministers — Sad state of this church after the banishment 
of Farel and Calvin. 

Basle, June, 1538. 

As it is not in our power to treat with you in your presence,' 
which is what we should above all desire, we ^ave recourse 
' to what next remains to us, viz : to lay before you, or at least 
slightly indicate by letter, the main points of our business. You 
already knew from another letter that at length on the 8th day 
after our arrival at Berne, Konzen and Erasmus^ had repaired 
thither. They seemed to have been in no great hurry. We 
thought they were purposely putting our patience to trial, that, 
if impatient of so long a delay wp had thrown up the cause, the 
whole blame might with some plausibility be thrown upon us. 

When their arrival was announced, we immediately as- 

' This letter signed by Farel and Calvin contains a very circumstantial account of 
the events which took place between their banishment from Geneva and their arrival 
at Bale. (April, May, 1538). After having appeared at the Synod of Zurich, they 
repaired to Berne to confer with the ministers of that city on some points in dispute, 
and lay the foundation of an ecclesiastical concord. But the conferences were with- 
out any result, notwithstanding the conciliatory spirit of which Farel and Calvin gave 
proofs on this ocaasion, and the intervention of the Seigneurie of Berne to bring them 
back to Geneva was equally unsuccessful. Calvin had already explained himself re- 
specting the controverted points with the Bernese clergy, and had given a summary 
of his opinion in a short memorial, of which the following are the principal points : 
" Of the three articles of conformity which have been proposed to us, the first, which 
concerns the establishment of baptismal fonts, we have already declared that we should 
by no means object to, provided that in other things nothing which has been observed 
hitherto respecting this rite be changed ; namely, that baptism be administered at the 
hours in which the church is wont to assemble, and that the doctrine concerning it 
be read from the pulpit, that it may be the more distinctly heard. 2. In the change 
introduced respecting the bread we feel a little more diflBculty ... 3. Respecting 
the festivals we are in very great perplexity. 4. But this appear to us the best and 
most suitable manner of settling a uniformity, if the deputies of Berne openly attest 
that they by no means censure the ceremonies that have hitherto been observed among 
us, nor desire any innovation in them because they judge them contrary to the purity 
of Scripture, but that they have in view nothing but unity and concord which are 
most commonly settled on a more solid basis by a similarity of rites." 

''Erasmus Ritter. 

1538.] BULLINGER. 393 

sembled in Konzen's house. Sebastian ' and Erasmus were 
present. Here Konzen began with long expostulations, a 
thing for which we were by no means prepared, from which 
at last he made a transition to taunting insults. We on the 
contrary endured that atrocity with as much good temper as 
we were masters of, because we saw we should gain nothing 
by greater vehemence, except to stimulate to the last degree of 
phrensy a man who was already mad without any provocation. 
His colleagues also assisted us in calming his transports. He 
then began to ask us whether we wished him to interpose his 
services in the settlement of our business. He added, as a 
reason for declining this office, that he foresaw that if the affair 
turned out badly he should be accused by us of bad faith ; and 
when we had answered three several times that it was not our 
wish to take from him the task which he had once undertaken, 
in consequence of the decree of Zurich, he nevertheless kept on 
repeating every now and then the same cuckoo's note. Fatigued 
at last by his own violent humour, he pledged himself not to 
abandon us. The following day was fixed upon for pleading 
the cause. We then went up to the council house. After a 
lapse of two hours, it is announced that the ministers were too 
much occupied with consistorial business to have leisure to at- 
tend to us. After dinner the following day we again waited on 
them, but found them then still less prepared, than they had been 
the day before, for, said they, they had to consider deliberately 
the articles which had been submitted by us to the meeting, 
but they had resolved that we should have a full and patient 
hearing. Though we saw that they were acting unfairly by us, 
and bore that indignity without expressing our feelings, there 
was scarcely one syllable about which they did not quibble. 
During the discussion of the second article, which treats of the 
nature of the bread, Conzen could no longer contain himself, 
but burst out into many scurrilities of which we shall mention 
but one as a specimen. For he reproached all the churches of 
Germany, which in other respects were tranquil, with having 
been thrown into anarchy by us from an importunate affectation 
of novelty. We replied that the use of leavened bread had not 

' Sebastian the elder. 


394 BULLINGER. [1538. 

been first introduced by us, but had been adopted from the 
ancient practice of the church and thus handed down by tradi- 
tion. Nay even among the Papists there had existed traces of 
a purer form in administering the Lord's supper, in which 
leavened bread was distributed. He would listen to no reasons, 
but always stormed more savagely until the others interrupted 
him by the reading of the third article. Here not content with 
simply bawling, he rushed down from his desk and threw his 
body into so many contortions, that his colleagues had a good 
deal of difficulty, and only by laying hands on him, to keep him 
quiet. When he had come a little to himself, he said, that our 
insupportable craftiness was apparent in this, that the whole 
paper was crammed full of our objections. We replied that we 
had rather studied simplicity, when before the assembly we had 
simply and openly made exceptions to things which seemed ob- 

Now only mark the impudence of the man. He did not re- 
collect that articles had ever been drawn up by us. As we had 
no witnesses to refute such evident falsehood, we said that we 
appealed to the judgment of the church, that we were prepared 
to submit to any degree of infamy, if all these articles were not 
recognized by the totality of the assembly, according to which 
Bucer had pleaded our cause, and according to which he pro- 
nounced the final sentence of the brethren, which was in perfect 
harmony with the things demanded by us, and that you your- 
selves may be more certain about that point, we send you those 
articles faithfully copied out. As he wished to convict us of 
falsehood, how, said he, can you reconcile it with this sentence 
of the brethren that you wish your rites to be confii-med by the 
testimony of our deputation, rites which all the brethren at 
Zurich disapproved of? You see, my very worthy brethren, we 
had to do with one who deserves not the title of a man, much 
less that of a servant of Christ, in such a manner did he exhibit 
himself in so arduous a business. When we plied him with 
arguments too cogent to be eluded, I know, said he, far too 
well your fickleness and inconstancy, for you declared in the con- 
ference, that you had been prepared to yield to us at Lausanne 
with regard to two articles, that you had resisted concerning the 

1538.] BULLINGBR. 395 

third only, yet when there you were unwilling to make the 
slightest concession, more than beyond giving us a hearing. 
What then, we replied, do you not remember, that everything 
was transacted between us with the greatest harmony, and that 
the only difficulty that embarrassed us was a controversy about 
festival days? When he kept bawling that all that was false, 
we appealed to Erasmus who had been present at the conference. 
He indeed admitted that our statement was correct ; but not- 
withstanding all this, Conzen could not yet be checked from 
proceeding with greater audacity. The deputy who had presided 
in the synod gave a most irrefragable testimony in our favour, 
and added, that he would not hesitate, if we wished it, to protest 
against the falsehoods of that man, even before the consistories. 
He nevertheless with unabashed front persisted in his denials to 
the last. We then left the council house without entertaining 
any further hopes. When we had got into the street, Sebastian 
asked if we thought that true which was related by certain per- 
sons ; namely, that there was so much of rigid feeling in certain 
of the brethren that they called wolves and false prophets, the 
men who had crept into our places ; we answered that we our- 
selves entertained precisely the same opinion of them. Then, 
said he, by a parity of reason, we shall be condemned who are 
settled here after the banishment of Megander. We denied that 
the cause was identical.' And we gave reasons for not thinking 
more favourably of these wolves. Learn from this what a pre- 
text he seized upon for disengaging himself from us, for the 
moment he heard that remark, he renounced the whole manage- 
ment of our cause, though previously he had solemnly promised 
that there was nothing he would not do for us. Erasmus alone 
now remained to us, who promised, however, that he would faith- 
fully bestow all his labour on our business. But he can be of 
very little service to us while he is opposed by the others. A 

' Mr. Henry has appended the following note in German to the Latin test : Diese 
Stelle scheint Kirchhofer nicht richtig zu nehmen. Farel's Leben, i. 248 : " Auch er 
balte sie dafur, wie diejenigen, die nach Vertreibung Meganders in Bern blieben." 
Sie antworten im gegentheil : " Negavimua." (Kirchhofer appears not to have rightly 
understood this passage, Farel's Life, i. 248 : " He also held them for such, as he did 
those, who after the banishment of Megander remained in Berne." They answer on 
the contrary ; " Nogavimus," we denj.) 

896 " BULLINGER. [1538. 

few days after we were admitted into the senate house and 
called back three times in the course of one hour, in order that 
we might recede from our articles — for we wished that by a 
legitimate order, conformity should be adopted in the church. 

The senate wished that we should abide by that which was 
already in some sort adopted. But this conformity had been 
adopted by a few seditious persons in consequence of the same 
decree by which it behoved us to be flung into the Rhone. We 
preferred, however, at last to stoop to any conditions rather than 
occasion good men to believe that it was through our fault that 
nothing had been effected. A decree of the senate was passed 
that two deputies should accompany us to the fourth milestone 
from Geneva, that then they should go before us into the city 
to prepare the way for our return ; that if they succeeded in their 
mission they would conduct us into the town and procure our resti- 
tution to the ministry. Because this proposal did not give us 
great satisfaction, we again asked an audience of the senate. 
When this was granted, we showed them that out of their 
measure would arise what we chiefly dreaded; namely, that we 
should seem to be restored by having implored pardon for our 
fault; we also complained that none of the ministers had been 
adjoined to the embassy. A new decree of the senate was then 
passed that we should be conducted straight back into the city 
by the deputation, and first of all an opportunity of pleading our 
cause should be obtained for us, that at length we might be duly 
reinstated in our pastoral functions, if it should be made clear 
that we could be charged with no delinquency. In addition to 
the others, Erasmus and Viret were given to us. We were now 
about a mile's distance from Geneva, when a messenger met us 
who forbade our entrance. Though that was contrary to justice 
and civil rights, we nevertheless complied with the advice of the 
deputies, otherwise we should have gone boldly forward, if they 
had not rather firmly opposed our design, and in that they had 
wisely consulted for our lives. For it appeared afterwards that 
at no great distance from the gates an ambush had been laid for 
us, and at the gate itself twenty armed banditti were lying in 
wait for us. Both the councils decided that the examination of 
the affair should be left to the people. Among them Louis 

1538.] BULLINGER. 


Amman, one of tlie deputies, and A^iret, who spoke in his own 
name and that of Erasmus, handled the cause with so much 
dignity, that the minds of the multitude seemed to be induced 
to act with fairness; until as the meeting was breaking up, one 
of the presidents of the council began to read to them our 
articles, putting on them as invidious a construction as he could, 
a good many others at the same time chiming in with him. For 
it had been settled beforehand, that while he read they should 
keep raising an outcry to inflame the minds of the populace. 
They had only three topics to carp about to get up ill-will against 
us — that we called the church of Geneva ours — that we called 
the Bernese by their name, without prefixing to it any honorary 
appellation— and that we made mention of excommunication. 
See only, they exclaimed, how they dare to call the church 
theirs, as if they had already come into possession of it. See 
with what arrogance they despise the seigneurs themselves. 
See how they are aiming at a despotism. For what is their ex- 
communication but despotic domination ? 

You perceive how frivolous and nugatory these calumnies are, 
for they had long ago admitted of excommunication, the very 
name of which they now shrank from with such horror. These 
firebrands were nevertheless able to inflame to madness the 
minds of all. They decreed that they would die sooner than 
that we should be allowed a hearing to explain the reasons of 
our conduct. Certain deputies had brought the articles, but 
with this injunction that they should not lay them before the 
people before we should be present, that we might have a prompt 
opportunity of removing any scruple, should any arise. But 
our friend Konzen had other designs to serve, and so be clan- 
destinely sent those articles by a certain notorious traitor named 
Peter Vandel, and that you may not fancy we are grounding 
our assertion on obscure conjectures, we have in our hands clear 
proofs of his perfidy in this matter. For he and Sebastian were 
the only persons who had copies of them — and the fellow Vandel 
had vaingloriously prated to many while he was on the way, 
that he was the bearer of what would prove a deadly poison to 
us. In truth he could not dissemble the state of his feelings 
towards us, for in a meeting of the brethren held at Nyon, we 

398 BULLINGER. [1538. 

have heard that he spoke thus: "The senate was deliberating 
whether I should not proceed to Geneva for the purpose of re- 
storing those banished fellows," (so he contemptuously styled us,) 
"but I would rather have abdicated my ministry and retired from 
my country than aid those by whom I know that I was savagely 
defamed." This forsooth is the faith solemnly pledged to you 
and to the church of Christ, the power of violating which you 
supposed had been taken from Conzen. Now believe after the 
proof that it was no vain terror by which we were frightened to 
such a degree as scarcely to be induced even by the authority 
of the church to venture upon losing ourselves in this labyrinth. 
We have now gone through with our task. 

We now think we have fully complied with your advice and 
that of all godly men, though we have effected nothing by it, 
except perhaps that the evil has broken out with twofold or 
threefold violence, and worse symptoms, than it did before, for 
though no sooner were we expelled than Satan triumphed 
wantonly, both there and all over France, yet the presumption 
both of him and his agents has been increased in no ordinary 
degree in consequence of that repulse. It is incredible how 
licentiously and insolently the ungodly there revel in every 
species of vice, how petulantly they insult the servants of Christ, 
how arrogantly they scoff at the gospel, how outrageously they 
exhale their fury in all ways. This calamity ought to be the 
more bitter to us, because, as the discipline, though very gentle 
of late, forced the keenest adversaries of our religion to give 
glory to God, so that mad license given to the perpetration 
of all sins, in consequence of the celebrity of the place, will 
be but too much remarked to the greater scorn of the gospel. 
Woe to him by whom such scandal has been raised — or rather 
woe to those who have conspired together for this accursed pur- 
pose. A good many, though they desired that we should retain 
our functions, yet as they could not obtain what they coveted, 
unless the light of truth were extinguished, did not hesitate to 
gratify their perverse lusts even at that price. Conzen, as he 
could not subvert us without the ruin of the church, did not 
hesitate to betray it along with us, and he fancies he has pulled 
down what we had built up ; but we stand unshaken in the Lord, 

1538.] BULLINGER. 399 

and we shall stand yet more firmly when lie with the whole race 
of the ungodly shall perish ; at present it would be better that 
the church should be entirely destitute of pastors than that it 
should be invaded by such traitors skulking under the mask of 
pastors. For there are two who have usurped our place, of 
whom one was a Franciscan monk about the beginning of the 
reform, and one of its bitterest enemies, until at last he contem- 
plated Christ under the form of a woman, whom as soon as he 
liad persuaded to live with him he corrupted by every means 
of seduction. Even while he continued a monk he led the most cor- 
rupted and debauched life, not only not observing the superstitious 
rules of his order, but not even making a show of observing them. 
Thus then, lest it should be thought that he is one to be justly 
driven from the order of bishops, he often cries out of the pulpit 
that a bishop is not required by St. Paul to be a man that has 
been blameless, but who begins to be so, as soon as he has been 
raised to that dignity. From the time in which he has pro- 
fessed to follow the gospel, he has so conducted himself as 
to make it evident to all that his heart is utterly void of 
the fear of God, and consequently of all religion. The other, 
though exceedingly cunning in concealing his vices, is neverthe- 
less so remarkably and notoriously vicious that he imposes only 
on strangei's. Both moreover are grossly ignorant and intolerably 
silly, not only unable to speak, but even to prate to any purpose, 
and yet they are puffed up with the most insolent pride. They 
have now connected themselves with a third, taxed not long ago 
with habitual fornication, and on the point of being convicted 
had he not escaped a condemnation by the favour of a few. Nor 
do they display more address in the discharge of their functions, 
than they did in usurping them ; for they have interfered with 
the ministers of the whole district, partly against the wishes of 
some and partly against the protestations of others, though in 
that they make evident rather their quality of hirelings than of 
servants of Christ. But nothing grieves us more than that by 
their ignorance, their levity, and their stupidity, the ministry is 
prostituted and brought into contempt. Not a day passes in 
which some blunder of theirs is not plainly remarked either by 

400  ZEBEDEE. [1539. 

men or women, sometimes even bj children. But my letter is 
plucked from my hands by the hurry of the messenger. 

Farewell then, well beloved and most honoured brethren, 
and with serious prayers call upon the Lord that he may speedily 
arise. — Your affectionate brethren, 

Farel and Calvin. 

These words in the writing of Calvin. 

We beseech you, brethren, beware lest the publicity given to 
this letter should bring us into trouble. For we confide matters 
more unreservedly to your bosom than we should relate them 
to men in general. Remember then that these things are en- 
trusted confidentially to your good faith. 
[Lat. Copy. — Arch. Eccl. of Berne. ^ 

IV. — To Zebedee.' 

Pressing invitations to concord — Apology for Bueer— Judgment respecting Zwingli, 
Luther, Carlostadt — Necessity of union. 

Steasbourg, 19«A May, 1539. 

Your letter gave me uneasiness for other reasons, but greatly 
agitated my mind, because I see that you still entertain so great 
an aversion to the agreement which I imagined had been duly 
established in your parts. As you do not seem, however, to 
have taken up your views of the subject without some reasons, I 
shall first endeavour to satisfy you as well as I can respecting 
the things which you object to, then I shall slightly touch on 
the cause itself. You say that those men whose talents and 
hearts I so highly commend, have diminished their own authority 
among most persons whom you know, both men of small and of 
great importance. I confess it indeed. But whose fault is it ? 
''I wish it were not their own," you say. 

' John Calvin to Zcbedee, faithful minister of the Church of Orbe. Andre Zebedee, 
minister of the Church of Orbe, " a red-haired and very haughty man," says an 
ancient chronicle of this town, after having long kept up a friendly intercourse with 
Calvin became at a later period one of his most violent adversaries. See vol. 

1539.] ZEBEDEE. 401 

Take care, lest you do injustice to the servants of Christ, 
■whom you suspect so maliciously when they themselves have given 
you no grounds for doing so. Bucer conducted himself in such a 
manner in the affair of the agreement, that while many exclaim 
that his actions displease them, no one can point out the slightest 
point in which he did wrong. I know what complaints are 
everywhere heard about him among those who cry out against 
the agreement. But if you examine a little more closely, it will 
be clear to you that they are mere invectives. If we condemn, 
with so much facility, a man endowed with so many excellent 
gifts, and whose services the Lord has made use of for such ex- 
cellent things, what, pray, shall we say of those who have 
hitherto approved themselves by no notable action? But should 
you persist in flattering yourself by depreciating men who do 
not deserve it, you shall never, for all that, persuade me not to 
feel and declare those to be sincere men whose sincerity I see 
with my eyes. It is to no purpose you recur to that common- 
place remark, we should not from admiration of men let our- 
selves be led away from the certain truth of religion. For I 
am not enslaved by so preposterous and blind an admiration of 
any man, as to be detached by it from a sound judgment, much 
less from the authority of the faith; and I know that Farel has 
too much firmness to leave me any room for fearing that he 
could in this manner be turned aside from the word of God. 
But as I know that all who stand up for the opinions of Luther 
are suspected of too much wiliness by the men of our party, I 
was unwilling to allow Farel to be tormented by a needless mis- 
trust. But to what purpose dread the astuteness of that man 
of whose candour you can be assured? I shall not cease then 
loudly to proclaim that virtue which I think I perceive in Me- 
lanchthon. Meanwhile there are certain things in which I my- 
self confess him to be deficient, so far am I from wishing to 
subject any one to his opinions. For this is my purpose, that 
banishing all suspicions which are an obstacle to us, we should 
confidingly on the one side and the other listen to each other's 
reasons, reserving for our own judgment the question itself intact 
till the truth be discovered. I know that there is an immense 
fear of the Gorgon as far as Bucer is concerned. But it vexes 

402 ZEBEDEE. [1539. 

you, that he has overthrown a doctrine, which lately (1537, Sept.), 
was so well established there, and you think it to be the more 
dishonourable, that he himself should bring into doubt a doctrine, 
which formerly he defended with the greatest firmness against 
most obstinate opponents. What kind of a truth it is we are 
wavering in, I do not perceive; but I venture to say, that we 
perfectly and firmly agree with Bucer, so that no part of sound 
doctrine is abandoned by us. What is there repugnant to 
the plain meaning of the Scripture in the formula I drew up 
some time ago? What is there in my articles, which could in 
any way give youofience? Nevertheless nothing prevents an 
agreement, but that those men, who wish to appear very con- 
servative, entirely reject this doctrine. If we think that Martin 
dissembles, why do we not thoroughly draw him out ? Let us 
simply assent to the teaching of the Scripture, and we shall 
either win him over, with or against his will, to the light; or he 
certainly will not be able to use evasion, but will disclose what- 
ever poison may be in his heart. But since we have not fully 
found out his opinion, we even shrink from confessing the truth, 
lest we may seem to assent to his views. What harm could re- 
sult from drawing up a clear confession of the participation of 
the body and blood of the Lord, which is the privilege of the 
faithful in the holy supper ? Surely Martin would be compelled 
to accept it, or we would justly bid him farewell. You have no 
cause to take so great ofience at the retractations of Bucer. Since 
his teaching concerning the use of the sacraments was erroneous, 
he justly retracted it. I would that Zwingli had made up his mind 
to do the same. For his opinion on this subject was both 
wrong and pernicious. When I saw that our friends eagerly ac- 
cepted it with great applause, I did not hesitate to oppose it, while 
I was still working in France. I confess, he (Bucer) commits 
a mistake by endeavouring to soften the sentiments of (Eco- 
lampadius and Zwingli, because he makes them almost agree 
with Luther. But those men, who most spitefully censure him 
in every other respect, do not blame him for this. For they 
have nothing more at heart, but that Zwingli should remain un- 
touched. But I wish, that they would cease to defend him so 

1539.] ZBBEDEE. 403 

urgently, and would with singleness of mind give glory to God 
by a bare confession of the truth. I am very far from conceding 
to you that there was no rigidity in the doctrine of Zwingli. 
Indeed one can see at a glance that, too much absorbed with 
overturning the superstition of a carnal presence, he at the 
same time set aside the true efficacy of our participation, 
or at least threw an obscurity over it. So that what we 
required was that greater light should have been thrown on 
that point. You have reason to be offended that Luther re- 
tracts nothing, palliates nothing, but stubbornly maintains all 
his opinions. 

But what could Bucer do ? He might have waited, you will 
say. But it was better by his example to incite Luther and 
others to their duty. To what end that holy obtestation ? For 
after he had retracted his own errors, he also adjures them in 
God's name to correct in their turn whatever mistakes they 
have committed. What Luther's book against the Arians con- 
tains, I know not, except that from the title I guess the main 
points of the subject. If in handling it he has given Carlostadt 
a good drubbing, it is not without reason. Wherefore they 
cannot feel wroth with him, except that it is matter of sorrow 
that by the unnecessary ripping up of old quarrels, minds should 
be exasperated. It is more certain than certainty itself, that 
the Church of Wittemberg has been pestered with that foolish 
dogma by Carlostadt. We have not Bucer's Latin book. If 
such are their acts of conciliation it is with reason they displease 
you, and I should not consider them in a more favourable light 
if I saw them. But it does not follow that every difference of 
opinion should immediately break out into an open rupture. 
Wherefore, though your conscience compel you to oppose in some 
respects his opinion, it is your duty to do your endeavour that 
the fraternal union between you and him be maintained. For 
it behoves us not rashly to break up our connection with those 
whom the Lord has joined with us in the fellowship of his 
work. And this alone I ask of you, that you constantly retain 
that faith in which you have hitherto stood, but in such a man- 
ner as that you may not appear of your own free will to seek 

404 ZEBEDEE. [1539. 

for a rupture with those to whom you cannot refuse the right 
of being esteemed both by you and all pious men as among the 
leading servants of Christ. Good God, to what a point have we 
come. We ought to consider a separation from the ministers of 
Christ, with the same disposition as if our own bowels were torn 
out. Now it is almost a sort of sport not only to cut off certain 
members, but to retrench the most vital parts from their con- 
nection with us. These things, as I have thrown them together 
at random and without any arrangement, you will reflect on, 
and endure patiently the just liberty I have taken. Moreover 
you have no occasion to be under any apprehensions from me. 
The things you have written I will keep by me as religiously as 
I should wish them to be kept, if it were my own life that was 
at stake. 

[Lat. Copy. — Arch. Eccl. of Berne.] 

1546.] viRET. 405 

v.— To ViRET. 

Tragical death of one of the chiefs of the Libertine party at Geneva — Discourse pro- 
nounced by Calvin on this occasion. 

Geneva, lith November, 1546. 

I thought I had sent word to some one or other to give you 
an oral account of the story which you now require me to write 
to you about. Well then, as you wish to know the matter more 
thoroughly, here it is in a few words. When our brother Ray- 
mond said he had heard something about the horrid end of an 
impious man, the matter seemed to deserve to be investigated by 
the magistrate. By the orders of my brethren then I presented 
myself before the senate. I showed them that it was of much 
importance that some inquiry should be set on foot, while it was 
yet possible to have the matter thoroughly sifted, for it was im- 
possible that the rumour should not be speedily and widely 
spread ; so that, if it were a fable, it should be confuted by public 
authority, but if what was reported should be found true, that 
such a judgment of God ought not to be buried in oblivion; that 
I had already seen very many who passed it off as a joke. But 
I reminded them that there never had existed any miracle, even 
the most evident, over which Satan did not attempt to cast a 
mist; that not even when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram had been 
swallowed up, had the hand of God been recognized. I made a 
tolerably long speech. It was decreed that for the present 
matter "... The four Syndics were present and the greater 
part of the council, the burgomaster also with his suite. My 
colleagues too assisted. There was a small cottage in a field 
where his wife and four children had died of the plague. He had 
been, all his life, a criminal and profligate man, a haunter of 
taverns, a drunkard, a brawler, much addicted to profane swear- 
ing, in a word, one of the most notorious despisers of God. 
When his neighbours reproved him because he went so seldom to 
church, he was in the habit of saying, as we heard, " What ? 

' Something is here a wanting in the manuscript. 

406 viRET. [1546. 

Have I hired myself to Calvin that I should go to hear hira 
talk?" Admonished by Ferron respecting his disgraceful life, 
he showed no signs of repentance. 

A short time before he fell ill, Raymond sharply rebukod 
him, as was his duty, for having shamefully abandoned his wife." 
He wickedly took occasion, from the contagious nature of the 
disease, to indulge in slanderous remarks. After having lost his 
children, he was himself attacked by the malady, and was now so 
completely debilitated that he could scarcely lift his hand, when 
he was suddenly seized one night with an inflammation of the 
brain. He sprang out of bed. His mother and his wife, who 
were watching by his bed-side, retained him. He chattered of 
nothing but devils, that he was a man past all hope, that he 
was a prey due to the devil. When he was admonished to pray 
to God, he replied that this would be of no service to him, be- 
cause he was already awarded to the devils, that he cared no 
more for God than for the sole of a torn shoe. These were his 
very words, as his mother and the maid servant testified. After 
sun rise about seven o'clock in the morning, while he was repos- 
ing in bed, his mother was seated near the door. He rushed out, 
passing over her head like a whirlwind. Both the women strove 
to retain him, but he flew off to a great distance with so violent 
an impetus, that he appeared to be carried off, not to run of his 
own accord. There is in that part of the field through which 
he rushed a very thick quick-set hedge. The place was pointed 
out to us. Even if the ground were level on each side of the 
hedge, there is no one, however vigorous he might be, who could 
have crossed it at a leap w^ithout leaving some traces of his pas- 
sage, but on the other side there is the high parapet of a hah a. 
At the bottom of this parapet there is a stony and rugged path 
like that down which rush summer torrents. Over against this 
place, but at a considerable distance from it, there is a parapet 
similar to the first mentioned, which has also a thick and prickly 
hedge. When there was no possibility of springing through 
this hedge without tearing all one's limbs, and on the opposite 
side there appeared no path leading upwards, in the sight of the 
women he was whisked away like a hurricane into a vineyard 
beyond that. With their finger they pointed out the place from 

1546.] viRET, 407 

a distance where lie vanished from their sight. His hat was 
found in that place by the bank of the Rhone. Boatmen were 
Bent to look for the corpse ; they lost their pains, and from that 
place he could not have reached the Rhone without being carried 
headlong down. 

In a matter so very evident, there were nevertheless some of 
the principal persons who impudently endeavoured to explain 
away what was miraculous in it. I then exclaimed in a loud 
voice, "If you believe that there are any devils at all, here you 
clearly perceive the agency of the devil. Those who have no 
faith in God deserve to stumble in darkness in open day." As 
the Sabbath came round two days afterwards, by the advice of 
my brethren I handled the subject in my sermon, and sharply 
inveighed against those who treated a thing so convincingly 
proved as a fable, or who at least feigned so to treat it. Nay, 
in my warmth I was carried so far as to assert that during those 
two days, I more than twenty times with ardent wishes invoked 
death because I saw men of such hardened effronterv in con- 
templating the judgments of God. For now the impiety of our 
citizens was made more evident than it ever had been before. 
Only a few agreed with us in words ; I know not if even one be- 
lieved me in his heart. I added two other incidents that had 
taken place; not so striking, but which were still worthy of being 

An individual during the time of sermon on the Lord's day 
went into a wine shop to drink ; by chance he fell on his sword 
that had slipped out of its scabbard and was carried out in a 
dying state. Another in the month of September last, on a day 
in which the sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered, 
as he was secretly attempting while intoxicated to creep through 
a window to get to a strumpet, had his bones broken in several 
places by a terrible fall. At last I said in conclusion, "Till hell 
swallow you up with all your houses, you will not give faith to 
God when he stretches forth his hand." I perceived that my 
zeal gave no great pleasure to a good many, because they would 
not be willingly wakened from their lethargy. For you can 
scarcely believe how torpid the conscience of many is, who seem 
puffed up to the skies. The greater part of tliem fear disgrace 

408 viRET. [1546. 

to the city; a few of them, to our doctrine; but all of them quite 
foolishly. For what more glorious for us than this notable 
vengeance of God against the despisei'S of our doctrine ? And 
what have the Papists to insult the Genevese with, if God thus 
guards against contempt the doctrine which they profess? But 
as I was saying, this place deserves that God should signalize it 
more than others by remarkable instances of his judgment. I 
have not said much, and yet I have gone farther than I wished. 

There is at my house a pious and learned brother, who was 
minded to go to Strasbourg, to spend there a couple of years in 
study, and afterwards come back here that be might give him- 
self up to the ministry. He has a brother tolerably rich, who 
had promised to defray his expenses during three years. But 
he disappointed him at last. Thus the good man, left destitute, 
was looking about for what he should do. Because I had the 
best testimony respecting him from all good men, and because 
he was personally known to me, I have taken him to my house, 
where his table and lodging cost him nothing, till some situation 
cast up for him. Not to be burdensome to me, he asked me for 
a recommendation to you, but I put him in mind that we should 
watch for a suitable opportunity. I therefore beseech you again 
and again, if you shall happen to get rid of some of your teachers, 
that you will let me know of it. For this man deserves that we 
should interest ourselves in his behalf. If I did not think that 
he would be a worthy minister of Christ, I should not busy my- 
self about him, though, as it is, I am consulting the advantage of 
the church as well as that of the man. You too will never re- 
pent of having seconded us. The brothers of Farel are here. 
In what concerns himself, may God perfect what has been so 
happily begun. With regard to the man I have spoken of, I am 
afraid of but one thing, that is, that he may be a little too 
despotic, having once been set over children, but it will be your 
business to moderate him. You must be very cautious in 
choosing a successor at Neuchatel, lest the brethren should be 
too morose. As far as I could divine, Thomas is not exceed- 
ingly well pleased that people's minds were so much alienated 
from him. Do you prudently try to meet the dangers. 

Farewell, with your brethren and friends, whom you will 

1548.] viRET. 409 

salute in raj name. My colleagues salute you and them. My 
wife also. May the Lord preserve you and govern you by his 
Spirit. Amen. — Yours, 

John Calvin. 
\^Lat. Copy. — Library of Geneva. Vol. 111.] 

VI.— To ViRET.i 

Mention of Servetus — Marriage of the minister Merlin — Epistolary veiations, 

l«f September, 1548. 

I think you must have read by this time the ansAvers I made 
to Servetus. At length I have resolved not to contend any 
longer with the incorrigible obstinacy of a heretical man. And 
in sooth we must comply with what Paul mentions, but at pre- 
sent he attacks you. You will consider how far you ought to 
insist upon refuting his ravings. He shall not henceforth wring 
one word from me. For our friend Merlin I should wish a wife 
of distinguished merit, but when I look all about me I can 
scarcely find one that I dare venture to betroth him to, accord- 
ing to my hopes and wishes. If it were convenient for him 
under any other pretext to undertake a journey hither, he might 
himself look out better; he would then consult with me and con- 
fide to me with security and familiarity his ideas on that subject. 
Perhaps we might thus hit on some expedient. This seems to 
me the best method of proceeding. 

The day before your letter to Martyr was delivered me, 
Dumoulin had left this town. A messenger to convey it back 
did not immediately present himself. If the seal is broken up, 
it is from inattention, for when I was tumbling over a mass of 
letters confusedly heaped up on my table at the time I was 
about to write an answer to you, fancying this to be one of those 
that were written to me I opened it. I had not perused a line 

Independently of the painful interest which is attached to the name of Servetus, 
this letter shows what minute precautions Calvin and Viret were obliged to take in 
carrying on their familiar correspondence, of which the effusions were incessantly 
maliciously interpreted both at Berne and (reneva. See vol. ii. p. 176. 


410 viRET. [1548. 

of it before I perceived my mistake. This at least I have gained 
by my heedlessness, I perceived that I have been more indulgent 
in bearing testimony. 

The flying rumours that are spread about respecting our letters 
among the evil disposed savour of their old worn out malice, so 
that it seems that those who would like to do a great deal of 
mischief, either do not dare, or as yet, are but ill- prepared for 
the onset. Relying on a good conscience I fear no attack. 
For what worse than death can they threaten ? And yet if the 
minds of the Bernese shall at length be somewhat mitigated 
towards you, as Christopher gave me some reason to hope, you 
will perhaps be able to draw something from them, as it were 
by chance. What if either of us should attempt it through 
Zerkint ? Reflect if that will not be more expedient. Respect- 
ing Guillaume's business, Allen and St. Privat will bring back 
word what has been resolved. Both willingly ofier their services, 
and yet should the afiair get wind I shall scarcely be able to 
persuade them to do so at this time. You will assist Allen with 
your recommendation, if by chance he should judge it necessary 
to go to Berne. I have collected into a parcel all the letters 
I have had from you, that you yourself in reading them over 
may signalize by a certain mark whatever things in them may 
seem to you to expose you to danger. Those which shall be so 
marked, keep by you in a place of safety. I will do the same 
thing by my own the moment I receive them from you. 

Farewell, most worthy brother and friend. May the Lord 
preserve you, and ever accompany you with his grace. Amen. 
Carefully salute your wife and your colleague in my name. 
My wife also salutes you all, and commends herself to your 

[Lat. Orig. — Library of Geneva. Vol. Ill a.] 

1548.] BRENTZ. 411 

VII.— To Brentz.' 

Message of consolation and fraternal sympathy. 

Geneva, 5th November, 1548. 

If anything could afford me pleasure in these unhappy times, 
your very affectionate and interesting letter would certainly have 
done so. Most grateful indeed it was, and furnished me with 
much consolation under my various sorrows, since it let me know 
that you, about whose life all good men had been so long in 
anxious suspense, had been rescued, as it were, from the jaws 
of death. And though in the present posture of affairs, life 
cannot but seem bitter to you, when you reflect that you have 
been torn from the church which you had begotten in Christ, 
and trained up with such anxious care, and which now deprived 
of its pastor, you perceive to be in a manner exposed to the 
unbridled caprice of Satan ; nevertheless, you should bear in 
mind at the same time, that it is not without some special design, 
that your life has been preserved by the Lord. Though you 
still enjoy a green old age, you would have gone down to the 
tomb full of years. And in truth what is there in this world at 
present which should render us very solicitous about living ? I 
am convinced then that God, who has hitherto so happily made 
use of your ministry for the edification of his church, and 
crowned it with such abundant fruits, has yet in reserve for you 
some work to us unknown, in which he wills still further to ex- 
ercise you. Not that we have any prospect, at least, any im- 

' Compelled to exile himself from Wurtemburg, after the proclamation of the In- 
terim, Brentz, who had taken so groat a part in the reformation of this country, had 
■withdrawn to Bale, where he waited for better days. In a letter to Calvin, of the 
6th October, 1548, he expressed his regrets and sorrow: "And though I have found 
here all sorts of advantages — hospitality, a charming city, the friendly feelings of 
the inhabitants, intercourse with learned men, and, what delights me most of all, the 
courteous kindness of the ministers of the Gospel ; yet when I call to mind the deso- 
late state of the church, the abandonment of my own family, and the dangers which 
seem impending over other churches and their ministers, you yourself can easily 
imagine that no charm in external things is so great as to afford me pleasure in such 
a conjuncture." 

412 BRENTZ. [1548. 

mediate one of a better state of things. On the contrary, 
wherever we turn our eyes, the symptoms of fresh evils manifest 
themselves so clearly, that the final ruin of the church seems 
inevitable. And then, as our own impiety and ingratitude 
have been the primary causes of these evils, so our contumacy 
carries us headlong to such a degree, that more numerous and 
more terrible misfortunes than any we have hitherto experienced, 
are justly to be apprehended. One thought there is, however, 
which enables me to bear up, and revives my courage; it is 
when I reflect in my own mind that God would never have per- 
mitted this marvellous restoration of the church to proceed so 
far, merely to have inspired a fallacious hope, destined to vanish 
immediately away; but that he has undertaken a work, which 
not only in spite of Satan, but also notwithstanding all the 
malicious opposition of men, he will defend and establish. 
Meanwhile let us patiently endure the purgation of which we 
stand in need. Should the fury of the lion once be fairly let 
loose on us, we shall be far more cruelly handled. Assuredly 
up to the present time he has rather terrified us with threats, 
than ferociously assailed us. But he will give way to the rage 
which he has as yet curbed as soon as he shall see all the 
obstacles to his designs removed. It is for that reason we 
should be as fully prepared as if the unsheathed sword were 
already over our necks, and the fires lighted to consume us. 
But, as I said, I feel convinced that some limits will be set to 
our chastisement, and God will speedily re-assemble his church, 
after this most wretched dispersion. One thing I fear is, that 
he will severely avenge the disgraceful supineness of Germany, 
as well as its impious perfidiousness. But as he must recognize 
that many poor harmless sheep had been betrayed by the 
sturdier goats, he will, I trust, in his mercy, take into consider- 
ation the condition of the former, so as to mitigate his just 
indignation. Here having no other means of testifying our 
sympathy, we are unceasingly mindful of you and such as you 
in our prayers ; would that we could aid you by other services. 
Thus, then, first of all, with one accord, we suppliantly entreat 
God, if, offended by our transgressions, he has given loose 
reins for a season to the cruelty of the ungodly, that in turn 

1552.] AMBROSE BLAURER. 413 

provoked by tlie scofiings and frowardness of these wicked men, 
he would again look with compassion on his own cause and that 
of his children ; next we implore Jesus Christ not only to be our 
intercessor with the Father, but also to show himself the just 
avenger of his church. 

Farewell, most distinguished sir, and my very honoured 
brother in the Lord. May the Lord whom you serve con- 
tinue to govern you by his Spirit, and bless all your holy 

[Calvin's Lat. Corresp. Opera, ix. p. 47.] 

VIII. — To Ambrose Blaurer.' 

Sends him divers works — News of Italy — Belgium and France — Disturbances in 
Germany — Chastisement of Constance. 

Geneva, Uth February, 1552. (5 o'clock P. M.) 

If I have delayed rather too long in answering your letter, 
my most worthy and much respected brother, it is the fault of 
Michael Muller, who every day on the point of setting out has 
kept me in suspense for upwards of a month and a half. 

Yesterday, as I was proceeding to church to deliver a lecture, 
a boy put your letter into my hands. Three hours afterwards 
about supper time, I called at the inn, but the courier was not 
there. About midnight I was seized with a violent megrim, a 
complaint to which I am but too subject. To-day after sermon 
till midday I kept my bed. After that I had to lecture, and 
now having come back, I shall write to you very briefly, for I 

' "A most excellent servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, faithful pastor of the church 
of Bienne, my very dear friend, and honoured fellow minister." 

Banished from Constance, his native town, where the Catholic worship had been 
re-established by the Imperialists, Blaurer had found an asylum at Bienne. His bro- 
ther Thomas, driven into exile like himself, wrote to Calvin, " I recommend to you 
ruy brother Ambrose now at Bienne, serving the Lord, and at no great distance from 
your church." 22nd October, 1551. By a letter written some time afterwards, 3rd 
of December of the same year, Ambrose Blaurer asked Calvin for some of his writings. 
This was the origin of the most affectionate intercourse between the proscribed min- 
ister and the Reformer. 

414 AMBKOSE BLAURER. [1552. 

have but little time before me. I am exhausted by my illness 
and still feel a little inclined to be lazy. The courier will also 
leave this to-morrow, as I have been told, for he was never to 
be found at his inn. So I could not saddle him with my com- 
mentary on John as you desired. By the inscription you will 
perceive that I had already destined it as a present to you. I 
have added four sermons along with an exposition of one Psalm. 
Eor the four copies of the treatise on predestination with the 
answer of Etienne, I have reminded the servant that he is to 
receive only aS much as he paid to the bookseller. Our fellow 
citizens occasion us much concern, inasmuch as nothing can ex- 
ceed the disorder of this republic, and the church of God here is 
tossed about by conflicting waves, like Noah's ark by the waters 
of the deluge. But notwithstanding all that, such is the nature 
of the commotion that it not only does not weaken the faith of 
pious men, but does not even agitate their minds more than if 
they were riding quietly at anchor in a secure harbour. And 
assuredly in whatever corner of the world the sons of God now 
take up their habitation, it is necessary for them to be fortified 
by a rare constancy against the storms that are everywhere 
raging. The emperor is at present carrying on war against the 
people of Sienna with immense preparations. He has also a 
second army in Piedmont, and is himself in Belgium re-assem- 
bling fresh forces, that he may make a new incursion into 
Picardy. France is everywhere collecting what troops and 
money she can. I cannot easily divine what will be the issue 
of the convulsions in Germany, and yet the obstinacy of the 
Count of Mansfeld in carrying on the war is astonishing, since 
even during the severe cold of the inclement climate of Saxony, 
he continued the campaign during the whole winter. 

In the mean time your wretched fellow-townsmen, the inhabi- 
tants of Constance, not only freely indulge themselves, but revel 
in their wantonness. A terrible vengeance of God no doubt ! 
For it is very evident that God thus punishes their impious con- 
tempt of his doctrine, by giving them up to that brutal intem- 
perance as to a spirit of giddiness and folly. And though I 
am aware it is a sad and bitter thing for you to hear what you 
write to me about the blindness of your native place, yet this 


one reflection ought to afiford you no small consolation, that God 
in this manner sets his seal upon your ministry, which was by 
them at that time so unworthily despised.' 

It was my wish to lengthen out my letter a little more, but 
you must pardon my brevity for I can stand this long fasting 
no longer. Farewell, most accomplished man and honoured 
brother. My colleagues and many godly men salute you ; will 
you, in your turn, salute very cordially for me, our brother 
Justin ? May the Lord preserve you and your Church, watch 
over you, govern you by his Spirit, and bless your holy labour. 

From the whole heart — Yours, 

John Calvin. 
{Lat Orig. Library of Munich, CoU. Oameriana, viii. p. 164.] 

IX. — To Francis Dryander.' 

Consultation on the subject of a new edition of the Bible — Troubles in Geneva — 

Apology of Calvin for himself. 

Geneva, November, 1552. 

If my delay in replying to you hitherto has given you of- 
fence, I should not be surprised at it, for though you make me 
no reproach, yet I cannot conceal from myself that I ought to 
blush for my too prolonged silence. One thing only I beg of 
you, which is that you will not suppose me to be so indolent nor 
so unpolite as to have neglected a friendly office which is due 

" It is to this apostasy of Constance, of which he had been the reformer, that 
Blaurer alludes in a letter to Calvin, in which we read these words : " Unhappy that 
I am, who survive my country, which, though still alive, is virtually dead." MSS. 
of Geneva. 

' See the note Vol. I. p. 3. It appears that independently of his translation of the 
New Testament into Spanish, Francis Dryamler had undertaken immense labours on 
the Scriptures. " If God permit, I should wish to publish before my death the books 
of the Bible, upon which I have bestowed all my pains during fifteen years." This 
wish expressed in one of his letters to Calvin (Oct. 1552) was not realized. But 
Dryander nevertheless deserves a place among the propagators of the Reformation m 


both to yourself and your pious wish, had an opportunity and 
the means of performing it presented themselves. But seldom, 
as far as I know in these unpropitious times, do any persons go 
from this place to your country to whom I might venture to en- 
trust a letter. Besides these causes of delay, the penury of such 
matters as I should have wished to write upon, checked my 
desire to send you a very speedy answer. I have had a confer- 
ence with eight more of my friends respecting the business of 
which you sent me word. Stephen Tremuleius still abides by 
his resolution. The others I found not quite so well disposed : 
some, because there are few at the present moment who can 
readily lay their hands upon their funds, having invested their 
money in other transactions ; others, because they fancy that 
it would be a tedious and difficult matter to dispose of all the 
copies of such an edition ; and others again there are who ap- 
prehend that the sale of the volumes would not cover the ex- 
l^enses which the publication of so extensive a work necessarily 
requires, even if it went off more rapidly than they have any 
reason to expect. For they imagine, as you yourself informed 
us by letter, that it is now a long time since you first undertook 
your task. They foresee how much your journey here will cost, 
and how expensive the correction of the press will be, especially 
as you are resolved to send to Paris for an assistant to superin- 
tend the impression. They conjecture, too, that you will not 
have many purchasers, because most of them will be deterred 
by the enormity of the price. Besides they are afraid of envy 
and unfavourable reports. I see, moreover, that the subsidiary 
and casual expenses which I spoke of never enter into their cal- 
culations. In the mean time, if they are called upon for any- 
thing which they imagine to be beyond what is just and 
moderate, they in their ignorance complain of it and set it down 
to the account of extortion. I am myself, too, of such a cha- 
racter that I dare not press them more sharply. Now in mat- 
ters of so doubtful a character, and which afford so small a 
prospect of success (at least much smaller than I could have 
wished), I am at a loss what advice to give you. I have no 
need, however, to employ many words to prove that I have the 
greatest inclination to be of use to you, should an opportunity 


of showing it occur, and that too not only for the sake of the